Dear Workshop,

On Thursday, April 4th, Betsy Wood, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History will present a chapter from her dissertation:

“Children, Religion, and Capitalism: The Battle for Keating-Owen, the Social Gospel, and the Rise of the American Toy Industry in the World War I Era.”

Time: 12:00, Thursday, April 4, 2011
Place: Swift Hall, Room 400
Food: Snacks provided, feel free to bring your lunch!
Paper: Email for copies of this paper.

The following is a selection from Betsy’s chapter:

The consumer-centered capitalism of the early twentieth century fostered the rise of the toy industry, which sought to develop a new and untapped consumer market — children. Yet in its earliest manifestation, the toy industry in America relied upon children not only as consumers but also as producers. Cheap labor was needed for the mass production of goods at a low cost. In 1912, child labor in tenements was a major source of cheap labor for the burgeoning toy industry. But ironically, toy manufacturers also benefited indirectly from the anti-child labor campaign which, among other things, touted the importance of children’s play.

Thanks, and I hope to see you there!

– Paul Chang

Persons with a disability who believe they may need assistance, please contact Paul Chang in advance at