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Tools of the Traveler

Sat, March 28, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Delta Ottawa City Centre, Floor: Conference, Richelieu

Abstract

This paper traces the mutual development of consumer-oriented navigational tools and the rise of a culture of travel and tourism in Scandinavia in the period 1850-1900. This was a foundational period for tourism as a leisure activity. The many forms of navigational media and technologies that supported these early tourists were a critical element to the democratization of travel. This paper goes beyond looking at the existence and development of such tools, choosing instead to focus on their uptake and adoption among users. How did people talk about maps, guidebooks, and other technologies at their disposal? What was seen as necessary and what was seen as frivolous and unnecessary? What was the relationship between skills and uses of such technologies? How did people connect general navigational principles with specific landscapes? Building on guidebooks, travel diaries, advertisements, and the annual volumes of the Norwegian and Swedish trekking associations, the paper seeks to understand how nature appreciation and cultural ideas of appropriate uses of nature became tightly intertwined with technological tools that mediated such experiences and values.

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