“Marwari” stands for people hailing from a region in western India known as Marwar. In common parlance, the term refers to merchants and bankers from this region speaking the language spoken there and living elsewhere. Marwaris left this region and resettled in other parts of India and abroad from at least the eighteenth century. The article explores the Marwari diaspora. Although many Marwaris engaged in trade, banking, and occasionally manufacture, the group was socially and occupationally diverse. After liberalization of the Indian economy in the 1990s, some Marwari individuals have made successful use of new investment opportunities from a business base that had been created before the economy opened up, but, overall, the group has experienced the same pattern of “creative destruction” as have other business communities. In small towns, Marwaris have almost seamlessly assimilated with local society. In big business, the companies they own define the character of the business more than ethnic identity.
Fast food probably originated in 1948, when Dick and Maurice McDonald re-designed their successful restaurant. Few of the brothers' "innovations" were entirely new. They specialized in a small number of familiar foods and applied systematic thinking to production. By fitting into existing and emerging cultures of age, family, leisure and consumption, the brothers' new outlet acquired a social life. Under Ray Kroc's leadership, McDonald's grew from its first outlet near Chicago to more than 300 locations in 44 states by 1961, when he bought out the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million. Over the next decade, McDonald's emerged as a dominant fast food chain in the United States, spread to Canada, and eventually turned into a global brand. Four themes—expansion, taste, systems, and social life—might be viewed as the basic elements of a global history of fast food, one that has similarities to the McDonald's story but is unique on its own. Technology and technocracy allowed food to become fast food.
Gabriella M. Petrick
The years between 1880 and 1930 have been characterized not only as "Hell with the lid taken off" but also as a consumer revolution. Until recently, however, little attention has been paid to how industrialization changed the foods available to Americans. This article examines what Americans were eating in the first half of the twentieth century. It first defines industrial foods as foods that are mass produced in a factory setting and require no or very little cooking to make them edible. These foods are also packaged which make them highly portable. Examples of industrial foods are commercially canned goods; frozen foods; ice cream; breads, cakes, and pies purchased at bakeries and/or groceries and supermarkets; cake mixes; hot and cold cereals; instant mashed potatoes; pastry/pie shell mixes; and jams and jellies. Industrial foods are considered products of the Cold War and the Baby Boom Generation, rather than the Gilded Age or the Progressive Era. This article also discusses home economics, food consumption, and the national diet.