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In the Watches of the NightLife in the Nocturnal City, 1820-1930$
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Peter C. Baldwin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226036021

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226036038.001.0001

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Recreations and Dissipations

Recreations and Dissipations

(p.54) Chapter 4 Recreations and Dissipations
In the Watches of the Night

Peter C. Baldwin

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the nighttime recreation of urban workers in American cities during the 1800s. It suggests that the way men and women chose to spend their leisure time reveal whether they shared the values by which middle-class people distinguished themselves from the rest of the population. It explains that during this period there was an intricate schedule of evening activity, with moral overtones changing by the hour. This chapter also describes the nighttime recreation in different cities and highlights the fact that respectable entertainments ended early and people who aspired to respectability went home to sleep.

Keywords:   nighttime recreation, leisure time, middle-class people, respectable entertainments

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