Abstract

This examination of Lemberg during the First World War uses newspapers, diaries, memoirs, official proclamations, and contemporary published statistical data to explore how the relationships between the citizens of Lemberg and modern technologies changed during the war years. The citizens of the city experienced two kinds of modern technology during the war. The first, titled here mundane, involved technologies that had only recently come to the city, but that had become essential to everyday life. These included electric trams, lighting (both electric and gas), and items such as cash registers, battery powered flashlights, and sewing machines. The second type of technology, the extraordinary, consisted of technologies that provided some level of spectacle prior to the war. These included motorized transportation, airplanes, and the cinema. This article argues that the relationship between both of these categories of technology and the populace changed during the war years. Mundane technologies became even more important in the daily lives of the citizenry, while the extraordinary technologies of cars, motorcycles, and airplanes became machines of war, while the cinema became both an escape from, and a transmitter of, the realities of the war happening nearby. The article also serves as a contrast to the experiences of citizens in other Polish-speaking cities during the war.

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