Life in the Gilded Age

"Gilded" means "covered with gold," and for some, the late nineteenth century truly was a gilded age. Industrialists accumulated wealth at an incredible rate and often spent it in elaborate ways. The growing urban middle class also had money to spend, on new consumer items, new forms of entertainment, and travel. In this chapter we’ll explore some of the ways North Carolinians participated in the changing culture of the Gilded Age.

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