By Richard Martin
A research of mid-twentieth-century American sports clothing.
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Hubert Bancroft had given me instructions to "note down" every word said by native Californians; and as they held different opinions, entertained views at variance with each other, could not with any show of reason be expected to coincide in the manner of judging of persons and creeds. (Cerruti, 109) Thus, despite some editorial intervention, Bancroft's agents did not interfere with all narrative techniques, though in their marginal and parenthetical annotations the interviewers did not hesitate to question or mock what was being said.
He first embarked on the classification of his vast collection,37 using various ad hoc methods, and eventually initiated what would be the first cooperative method of authorship of various volumes of history on the native races, Central America, Mexico, California, the Northwest, Texas and the North Mexican States, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, Alaska, and British Columbia. A number of writers, none of them historians by training, would be hired to use the materials in Bancroft's collection for the writing of these volumes in what resembled a literary assembly line with its strict division of labor and mass production techniques.
There is, of course, no such thing as "pure research," not today, not then, but Bancroft's method of writing on the basis of paid subscriptions was too blatantly compromised, and his method of collective production of the histories without acknowledging the authors or collaborators (Caughey, 268) provoked "savage diatribes" from the likes of Ambrose Bierce, writing for the San Francisco Examiner, pecially after the real authors of the volumes on the Northwest (Frances Fuller Victor) and of the volumes on California (Henry L.
American Ingenuity: Sportswear, 1930S-1970s by Richard Martin