Introduction to the Site

This site is designed as a hypertext extension of Alan Trachtenberg's The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age. This site was not designed in anyway to present a complete history of American Vaudeville. Instead, I've tried to provide a lense through which to view vaudeville, a cultural phenomenon inextricably linked to the process of incorporation. However, unfamiliarity with Trachtenberg's text should not prevent visitors from using or enjoying this site. The casual browser will not find galleries of stars or a great deal of information relating to the men, women, and children that rose to fame as vaudevillians. For the visitor seeking sites of that nature, I've included a series of links in the Sources and Links section of this project.

Although this site may not gleefully bathe in nostalgia's warm glow, I've desperately tried to avoid stilted academic gibberish and endeavored to keep this site, like vaudeville itself, novel, entertaining, and accessible to all. I designed the pages with an exaggerated sense of the hyperbolic style of early vaudeville show posters and included a varied assortment of visually stimulating decorative touches, in an effort towards my own variety of managed spectacle. In an effort to achieve the desired overall effect and out of my own sheer perversity, the majority of links in this project are the same color as the text. I've tried to make active links evident through the use of rollovers and simple animations, but if you're not sure, just click and see what happens.

This site is best viewed with Internet Explorer 7.0 or better. You'll also need Quicktime software to view the movies and an MP3 player to hear the recordings.

Gratuitous 19th century image of man on roller skates
Thanks,
The Management