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The Institution as Infrastructure: The International American Chamber of Commerce and Transatlantic Trade

Cover, Transatlantic Trade, January 1920.
Fig. 1. Cover, Transatlantic Trade, January 1920.

In a 1913 pamphlet, F. T. Marinetti, best known for his “Manifesto of Futurism,” attributed the twentieth century’s “complete renewal of human sensibility” to a series of technological innovations, including “the telegraph, the telephone, the phonograph, the train, the bicycle, the motorcycle, the automobile, the ocean liner, the dirigible, the aeroplane, the cinema, [and] the great newspaper.”[1] Marinetti’s list of modern inventions implies a catalog of the infrastructures they rely on: suggesting that the cable, the wire, the road, the shipping route, and the distribution network share this “decisive influence” on an emergent modern mindset (“Destruction,” 28). In what follows, I will examine an institution inherently imbricated with all of the technologies named by Marinetti: the international American Chamber of Commerce, known familiarly as AmCham. International AmChams in the early twentieth century facilitated global commerce, while supporting the activities of American businesses on foreign soil. I will argue that Transatlantic Trade, the magazine published by AmCham Germany from 1920 until the Second World War, is a previously overlooked site where the infrastructure undergirding twentieth century transnational mobility is made spectacularly visible, and consider how international AmChams offer insight into the twentieth century “psyche” that produced new modes and means of modern art (28) (fig. 1).

Exchanging Goods, Exchanging Ideas

The centrality of transnational, material, and intellectual exchange to modernist studies needs little introduction.[2] The transnationalism endemic in modernist collaboration and production was possible not simply because individuals in the twentieth century were possessed of greater cosmopolitan urges or less provincial mindsets than their predecessors, but because new technologies and institutions made greater global access possible. Intercontinental steamships grew faster, more comfortable, and more affordable in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and overseas communication became increasingly swift and comprehensive with the construction of underseas cables and developments in telegraphy.[3] These evolving technologies allowed for the creation and expansion of institutions contingent on physical and conceptual cross-border exchange—including the Empire Marketing Board and League of Nations, discussed elsewhere in this cluster, and international AmChams.

In answer to Megan Faragher and Caroline Krzakowski’s call for explorations of “the relationship of [modernist] institutions to modernist aesthetics and practices,” several of my fellow respondents and I have invoked a common term: infrastructure.[4] This word foregrounds the underpinnings, material or otherwise, that make possible the work of both institutions and artists. AmCham, I will argue, goes further than simply relying on transnational infrastructure in order to operate: the institution itself functions as a form of infrastructure, facilitating the transnationalism so recognizably integral to life and art in the early-twentieth century. The first international AmCham was founded in Paris in 1894, and by 1921, the organization claimed offices in Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canary Islands, Chile, China, Columbia, Cuba, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Philippine Islands, South Africa, Spain, Straits Settlements (Singapore), and Turkey.[5] Although devoted to furthering the interests of American businesses, AmChams lacked a formal relationship with the US government and operated independently from one another. The first president of the first AmCham in Europe, located in Paris, explained the organization’s inception as a response to the recognition that it was not the American government’s job to “influence local opinion or to secure for American importers in France privileges which are not absolutely defined by written commercial regulations.”[6] As this work did not fall under the American government’s purview, it became the designated role of AmCham.

The Chamber described their primary function as “service”—a term the institution used for the work of supporting American businesses and American workers abroad. In locations around the world, AmCham members could turn to their local office for “Information,” “Credit Reports,” “Agents and Connections,” “Assistance to Travelers,” “Office Facilities,” “Adjustment of Trade Disputes,” “Employment” services, and “Publications.”[7] What this list of functions makes clear is that international Chambers’ work took place both in the rooms they occupied, and on the pages of the printed materials they produced. AmChams organized events for American businessmen—such as an annual Fourth of July banquet hosted by AmCham Paris, and weekly lunches at Restaurant Kempinski for Chamber members in Berlin—and provided reading rooms and office space to members and visitors (fig. 2). They used a variety of different types of publications—including directories, trade journals, and bulletins—to connect American businesses to foreign suppliers and their own compatriots. By building frameworks of communication and connection for the transnationally mobile, international AmChams generated “the subordinate parts of an undertaking; substructure, foundation” that define infrastructure.[8]

“Reading room of the American Association of Commerce and Trade,” Transatlantic Trade, February 1920, 30.
Fig. 2. “Reading room of the American Association of Commerce and Trade,” Transatlantic Trade, February 1920, 30.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany

The American Chamber of Commerce’s German chapter—which I will refer to by their contemporary moniker, “AmCham Germany,” although they initially went by the lengthier “American Association of Commerce and Trade, Berlin”—offers a particularly rich source of insight into interwar transnationalism for a variety of reasons. While Paris has dominated the scholarship on American communities abroad in the 1920s and 1930s, AmCham Germany provides a reminder that Americans also had a sizable presence elsewhere in Europe in the period. Germany’s American population was large enough that, in 1929, the Chicago Tribune European Edition could cheekily proclaim that, in Munich, “American speech [was] the predominating tongue in the opera, the galleries, and, one might add, the breweries.”[9] AmCham’s role in each country was based on the local membership’s needs and the organization’s individual capabilities, and because there were fewer US citizens in Germany than France, Germany’s American residents had fewer organizations devoted to their support than their neighbor, and the documents AmCham Germany produced offer more distilled glimpses into the country’s American community than the publications of AmCham France.[10]

The expansive nature of AmCham Germany’s role in the community is evident in the organization’s monthly trade magazine, Transatlantic Trade. While Paris in the 1920s and early 1930s had from two to four daily newspapers directed specifically towards the city’s American residents at any one time, publications aimed at Berlin and Munich’s American populations were less consistently available, and Transatlantic Trade stepped into the gaps left by a lack of dedicated news sources. One of the features present from the magazine’s earliest issues, which mimicked a popular feature in the Paris Herald and Paris Tribune, was a “Personal Intelligence” column, recording the arrival and departure of prominent members of the American business community in Berlin, and listing the hotels where the visitors might be contacted. The magazine also ran information for visitors on local hotels and restaurants: a role which could be left to the mainstream press in a better-served city like Paris.

Of course, these features were not the main focus of Transatlantic Trade. In the words of the magazine’s inaugural issue, published in January 1920, the publication’s intent was to give “special attention to all questions pertaining to commerce and transportation, finance, legal matters export and import regulations and tariff questions.”[11] This makes it a rich resource for those interested in the daily operations of the institutions, laws, and technologies facilitating and frustrating transnationalism in the early and mid-twentieth century—that is, those very processes which Marinetti credits with a new way of thinking. Although explicitly directed towards a commercial audience—Transatlantic Trade’s cover declared it “Published in the Interest of American Export and Import Trade”—the picture the magazine paints is of the transnational life of more than just the businessman.[12] Addressing logistics familiar to all types of international travelers—including passports, currency exchange, and transportation—the account offered by Transatlantic Trade of the infrastructure underlying international mobility is significantly more thorough, and up to date, than what can be gleaned from guidebooks. While, despite rapid changes in the country’s political and economic position, Baedeker published just three different travel guides to Germany during the 1920s, Transatlantic Trade put out a new issue several times a year during this period—reflecting changing visa and passport regulations, and local hotel, spa, and restaurant suggestions.[13]

Written by AmCham Germany’s staff and industry experts, the core content of Transatlantic Trade was up-to-date information on trade laws and travel regulations; lengthy reports and histories of German industries; and lists of goods on-offer-from and sought-after-by German businesses. In the magazine’s early years, each issue ran about forty pages, with glossy pages and three-tone covers featuring a world map with a bold red line connecting the United States and Germany (fig. 1). On the opening page of its first issue, the magazine declared it “the aim of the publishers to give to the ‘Transatlantic Trade’ the character of a commercial magazine,” which would “provide space for merchants of both countries to advertise their goods, and will also serve as a medium for the establishment of commercial connections” (“Publisher’s Announcement,” 1). Despite this proclaimed devotion to trade-oriented interests, as I have already referenced above, there are many overlaps between Transatlantic Trade and coterminous publications serving a wider audience. While the magazine’s English language advertising seems targeted exclusively to readers’ professional needs in its first issues in early 1920—relying on banks, export and import agents, and vendors of raw materials—only a few issues in advertisers began appealing to readers’ leisure time as well, with German spas touting their facilities for holiday-goers by July of that year (fig. 3).

“Aix-la-Chapelle,” Transatlantic Trade, July 1920, 17.
Fig 3. “Aix-la-Chapelle,” Transatlantic Trade, July 1920, 17.

Transatlantic Trade’s Dual Roles

I earlier described Transatlantic Trade as both creating and revealing the infrastructures of twentieth-century mobility that were integral to creative practices of the period, and the magazine seems to explicitly recognize this dual function in their inaugural “Publisher’s Announcement,” declaring they would “provide space for merchants of both countries to advertise their goods, and [would] also serve as a medium for the establishment of commercial connections” (1). Before moving to the various networks of transnational mobility made visible on Transatlantic Trades pages, I would like to first point to one of the key structures the organization, and the organ, created: a directory. With a nod to Benedict Anderson’s oft-cited description of the newspaper’s ability to psychically cohere national community, Nancy Green has written about the importance of guidebooks and directories as means of uniting expatriates in the interwar period: a function they provide by making Americans visible to one another and delimiting the borders of the community through lists of names.[14] Transatlantic Trade initially published its members names as a large fold-out multi-page spread within select issues of the magazine, before later separating the directory into a separate publication. Each form of this list generated a network that facilitated interactions between the city’s residents, building the means to connect the city’s residents both on paper and in the institution’s offices.

This infrastructural network created by AmCham Germany appeared in Transatlantic Trade’s pages alongside discussion of the many other types of infrastructure the magazine made it its business to report on. Of particular interest to the journal was the legal framework of border crossing. Passport and visa requirements had been swiftly implemented across Europe in response to the First World War, and Transatlantic Trade’s first issue brashly criticized the American government for its poor management of these systems. The magazine accused the government of creating unnecessary delays and red tape for American business travelers, and they continued this critique in nearly every successive issue published in 1920.[15] In December of that year, the magazine launched a signature campaign for subscribers, requesting that AmCham members come to the institution’s Berlin office and co-sign to the fact that:

Passport regulations in force at the present time constitute a very great hardship for that section of the travelling public that finds it necessary to cross the frontiers of the various European countries at more or less frequent intervals . . . This untenable condition . . . is exceedingly annoying, time-wasting and costly to those American business men located in Europe . . . Therefore, we, citizens of the United States . . . respectfully appeal to the State Department with the urgent request that some action be taken towards reliving American citizens, compelled to travel, from this inconvenience and trouble (fig. 4).[16]

This was not an entirely fruitless effort on AmCham Germany’s part: the following year, the League of Nations’ Organization for Communication and Transit held a conference with the expressed intention of phasing out the passport. However, member states’ concerns about refugees flooding labor markets and posing security threats instead lead to further standardization of this document, rather than its relaxation.[17]

“An Appeal to the State Department,” Transatlantic Trade, December 1920, 7.
Fig. 4. “An Appeal to the State Department,” Transatlantic Trade, December 1920, 7.

The legal framework of mobility shared space on the magazine’s pages with the logistical, and one of Transatlantic Trade’s ongoing features was a list of “Shipping Lines Running Out of the United States to Principal European Ports.” While steamships dominated the magazine’s advertising as a means of transport, the magazine also covered means of mobility including car, bus, rail, and air travel (fig. 5). Transatlantic Trade took it as its remit to report on new innovations in transportation, and features in the October-November 1920 issue included photographs of the interiors of an airplane and an airship—emphasizing passenger comfort in both conveyances (fig. 6). The journal highlighted problems with global shipping infrastructures as well as their possibilities, including publishing a lengthy complaint concerning the fact that when American ships arrived in foreign ports carrying goods, there was no one tasked with helping them find replacement cargoes for the return journey.[18]

“The commercial airship ‘Bodensee’,” Transatlantic Trade, May-June 1920, II.
Fig 5. “The commercial airship ‘Bodensee’,” Transatlantic Trade, May-June 1920, II.
“The Pullman compartment of a ‘Hawa’ aeroplane,” Transatlantic Trade, May-June 1920, 1.
Fig. 6. “The Pullman compartment of a ‘Hawa’ aeroplane,” Transatlantic Trade, May-June 1920, 1.

Global communication networks were another form of transnational infrastructure of interest to Transatlantic Trade. The December 1920 issue’s front-page headline announced the “Development of Wireless Communication Between the United States and Germany.” Here, the magazine triumphantly reported that “although today there exists no formal peace between the United States and Germany, the United States was the first of all the Allied countries to reestablish telegraphic communication with Germany, even before the official announcement of peace status in July 1919.”[19] In other issues, one finds reports on developments in Air Mail and advertisements for “Via Radio,” which provided “direct radio service between United States and Germany for Importers and exporters” (fig. 7). The domestic and international distribution networks for periodicals were another form of communication made visible in the magazine, through its regular feature listing of “Trade Journals and Daily Newspapers on File at the Association.”

“Via Radio,” Transatlantic Trade, March-April 1921, 34.
Fig. 7. “Via Radio,” Transatlantic Trade, March-April 1921, 34.

Transatlantic Trade may have been inherently invested in facilitating commerce between the United States and Germany, and therefore downplaying the political tensions between the countries, but, as evident in the piece about the reestablishment of German-American communications quoted above, it was sometimes impossible for the organization to avoid mention of recent conflict. A consistent function of Transatlantic Trade throughout its publication history lay in assuring American companies that Germany was currently capable of doing business with the United States. The magazine’s first issue contained a lengthy piece by the executive secretary of AmCham Germany, Arthur E. Dunning, titled “The Post Bellum Situation in Germany” which addressed topics including “Governmental stability”; “Status of German currency”; and “Difficulties of American citizens.”[20] When resorts and spas began advertising in Transatlantic Trade, their ads were caveated with assertions such as Bad Aachen’s declaration that it was “unrestricted in its operations.”[21] When the magazine ran a lengthy feature on “German Watering Resorts,” it opened with an “Editorial note,” reporting that “inquiries reaching the Chamber from the United States indicate that there exists some doubt as to whether German watering places are prepared to receive visitors.” The editor went on to assure readers that “German watering places are fully equipped and American visitors will find conditions practically the same as before the war.”[22] In these advertisements, Germany’s functioning tourism infrastructure assumed the role of assuring AmCham members that geopolitical tensions would not threaten their ability to do business.

Twentieth-Century Transnationalism

In highlighting the existence of many forms of transnational infrastructure, and creating yet more means of global connection, Transatlantic Trade presents American identity in the twentieth century as reliant on forces beyond the nation and provides a commercial parallel to the transnational collaboration evident in the era’s aesthetic innovations. The magazine’s 1927 declaration that “international trade cannot long remain a one-sided advantage to any one country, but finds its steady growth in the buying as well as the selling” seems to presage Susan Stanford Friedman’s contemporary assertion that “polycentric, recurrent modernities and their modernisms develop not in isolation but always relationally through encounters with other societies and civilizations, encounters which are transcultural, not unidirectional.”[23] The infrastructures of transnational mobility which allowed the West Indies born Claude McKay to declare himself “an American, even though I was a British subject, but I prefer . . . to think of myself as an internationalist,” or Gertrude Stein to insist “America is my country and Paris is my hometown” are prefigured, and made possible, by the structures made visible on the pages of Transatlantic Trade.[24]

We might blame infrastructure’s reputation as “mundane to the point of boredom” for the fact that, despite AmCham’s explicit engagement with concepts that have been central to modernist studies, its early twentieth century presence has largely escaped the attention of scholars.[25] Compared with the groundbreaking art produced the same year, Transatlantic Trade’s January 1922 cover story on the German potash industry, or its advertisements for cutlery, bottle stoppers, and cash registers, hardly scream out for investigation (figs. 8-10). Yet the quotidian nature of the institution’s interests is precisely what allows it to present so many facets of modern life. Thomas S. Davis has written on “everyday life as a scene where world-systemic distress attains legibility,” and it is in the context of the mundanity of the content of AmCham’s publications that conversations about modernist transnationalism can be fully understood.[26]

“Solingen,” Transatlantic Trade, August 1920, 19.
Fig. 8. “Solingen,” Transatlantic Trade, August 1920, 19.
“Bottle Stoppers,” Transatlantic Trade, February 1921, 23.
Fig. 9. “Bottle Stoppers,” Transatlantic Trade, February 1921, 23.
“National Cash Register Company,” Transatlantic Trade, December 1920, 29.
Fig. 10. “National Cash Register Company,” Transatlantic Trade, December 1920, 29.

In addition to underscoring the everyday, Transatlantic Trade makes clear that artistic and commercial innovation can go hand in hand, and the magazine’s advertising is one of the most visible sites of this synthesis. While the Solingen Factory’s images of cutlery present a level of realism and detail familiar from Victorian advertising, the silhouettes in the National Cash Register Company’s ad suggest a minimalism in line with the emergence of art deco (fig. 8 and 10). The most explicit example of Transatlantic Trade’s engagement with modernist aesthetics appears in a December 1925 feature titled “Industrial Coats of Arms in Germany.” In a four-page spread, the magazine displays a series of company trademarks developed by the German graphic designers Arthur Nicolaus, Louis Oppenheim, and Karl Schulpig. The designs of Schulpig—one of the inventors of the modern logo and responsible for the long-lasting Allianz Insurance and Bolle Dairy logos—and others are striking and innovative: clearly examples of the modernist visual style developing at the time.[27] Transatlantic Trade glosses over the aesthetic innovations of these designs to focus on the material—highlighting “the commercial usefulness of these new designs,”[28] as their “simple, sharp lines, [make] it comparatively easy to transfer them to their metal productions” (“Industrial Coats of Arms,” 314). Yet, looking at these images, it is clear the commercial and the aesthetic cannot be neatly divorced.

Modernist Infrastructure

To conclude this catalog of AmCham’s creation and promotion of transnational infrastructure, I would like to provide some context on the current relationship between humanities research and infrastructure studies. Infrastructure may be, in Susan Leigh Star’s words, “by definition invisible, part of the background for other kinds of work,” but through idioms of both “infrastructuralism” and “Critical Infrastructure Studies” (CIS), it is becoming increasingly visible in humanities scholarship (“Ethnography of Infrastructure,” 380).[29] In their introduction to a 2015 special issue of Modern Fiction Studies devoted to “Infrastructuralism,” Michael Rubenstein, Bruce Robbins, and Sophie Beal write that our daily lives are “conditioned, determined, enabled, and disrupted—in a word, structured—by infrastructure,” and Alan Liu has argued that contemporary critique must “focus on infrastructure in order to have any hope of creating tomorrow’s equivalents of the great cultural-critical statements of the past.”[30] Although modernist studies has yet to widely adopt an explicit engagement with either the term “infrastructuralism” or “CIS,” I would argue that there is a recent thread of modernist criticism very much engaged with just such ideas. This consists of works invested in establishing a relationship between twentieth century bureaucratic structures and literature, including Bridget Chalk’s Modernism and Mobility: The Passport and Cosmopolitan Experience, Cóilín Parsons’s The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature, Richard Jean So’s Transpacific Community: America, China, and the Rise and Fall of a Cultural Network, and Merve Emre’s work on the American Express Office.[31] International AmChams created a node for many of the infrastructures and institutions underlying modern art and modern life, and examination of this organization offers further illumination of the transnational creative networks —including those generated by salons and ateliers, editors and publishers, and artistic collaboratives—which have long fascinated modernist scholars.  I hope that this brief dip into AmCham Germany and Transatlantic Trade provokes further scrutiny of the role of both institution and infrastructure in the twentieth century.



[1] F. T. Marinetti, “Destruction of Syntax—Wireless Imagination—Words-in-Freedom,” in Modernism: An Anthology, ed. Lawrence Rainey (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2005), 27–33, 28.

[2] Of interest for decades, modernism’s connection to the transnational continues to yield new approaches and discoveries, and recent titles to explicitly engage this field include Will Norman’s Transatlantic Aliens: Modernism, Exile, and Culture in Midcentury America (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016) and Emily Ballantyne, Marta Dvořák, and Dean J. Irvine’s edited collection Translocated Modernisms: Paris and Other Lost Generations (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2016).

[3] For an overview of steamship travel in the era, see Stephen R. Fox, Transatlantic: Samuel Cunard, Isambard Brunel, and the Great Atlantic Steamships (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), and Lorraine Coons, Tourist Third Cabin: Steamship Travel In The Interwar Years (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). Roger Luckhurst surveys the expansion of “tele-technologies” in The Invention of Telepathy, 1870–1901 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), and Richard Jean So expands this into the twentieth century in Transpacific Community: America, China, and the Rise and Fall of a Cultural Network (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016). Emily S. Rosenberg, ed., A World Connecting: 1870–1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012) provides further context for these innovations.

[4] Elsewhere in this cluster, Carlos Alonso Nugent argues that “modernist institutions were entangled with modern infrastructures,” while Robert Higney situates the study of infrastructure within “the new institutionalism,” and Michael McCluskey highlights the institution’s influence over infrastructure.

[5] “Thirty-Seven American Chambers of Commerce Abroad,” Transatlantic Trade, December 1921, 53–55. Local domestic Chambers of Commerce in the United States date to 1773, but did not operate as a unified, nation-wide, lobbying group until 1912 (U.S. Chamber of Commerce: The Early Years,, 2012, 4–5). Transatlantic Trade’s list appears somewhat aspirational: AmCham Egypt’s website locates their organization’s founding in 1974, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan credits their establishment to 1948.

[6] Philip W. Whitcomb, Seventy-Five Years in the Franco-American Economy: A Short History of the First American Chamber of Commerce Abroad (Paris: American Chamber of Commerce in France, 1970), 12.

[7] Jay E. Fitzgerald, “American Chambers of Commerce in Foreign Countries,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 94 (1921), 122–26, 123–25.

[8] OED Online, April 2020, s.v. Infrastructure, n.

[9] “Munich Notes and News,” Chicago Tribune European Edition, August 1, 1929, 9.

[10] For more on the wide variety of American organizations and services available to Americans in the interwar period, see Brooke Blower’s Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture Between The World Wars (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

[11] “Publisher’s Announcement,” Transatlantic Trade, January 1920, 1.

[12] I have intentionally chosen this gendered term, as the professionals named on the paper’s pages are nearly all men. A rare exception to this is “The Shopping Service” provided by two American women in Belgium, who were available to scour shops on the behalf of clients (“The Shopping Service,” Transatlantic Trade, September 1921, 5).

[13] While the magazine initially attempted to publish each month, by their second issue they already had to inform readers that “owing to strikes and disturbances the appearance of this number has been delayed,” and Germany’s economic and political woes frequently interfered with its regular production (Cover, Transatlantic Trade, February 1920). For more on the role of travel guides during this period, see Jesse Stommel’s “‘Objects Worthy of Attention’: Modernism and the Travel Guide.”

[14] One of the directories Green highlights is that produced by AmCham France: Americans in France. This publication was so popular among Paris’s Americans that for years its sales financed the production of AmCham France’s other trade-oriented publications. Nancy Green, The Other Americans in Paris: Businessmen, Countesses, Wayward Youth, 1880-1941 (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2014), 19.

[15] “Protection of Americans Abroad,” Transatlantic Trade, January 1920, 15. Transatlantic Trade shared this frustration with Ezra Pound, who wrote more than one screed complaining about the passport, including a 1927 article for The Nation titled “The Passport Nuisance.” For more on Pound’s frustration, see David Farley, Modernist Travel Writing (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2010), 36-43.

[16] “An Appeal to the State Department,” Transatlantic Trade, December 1920, 7.

[17] See Mark Salter, Rights of Passage: The Passport in International Relations (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003), 79. For more on the history of the American passport in this period see Robertson, Craig. The Passport in America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

[18] “The U. S. Merchant Marine Problem,” Transatlantic Trade, July 1920, 8.

[19] “Development of Wireless Communication,” Transatlantic Trade, December 1920, 1.

[20] “The Post Bellum Situation in Germany,” Transatlantic Trade, January 1920, 9, 14, 15. It should be noted that this piece was published simultaneously in the Chicago-based trade publication Manufacturer’s Weekly—suggesting Transatlantic Trade’s place in a larger global reprinting network.

[21] “Bad Aachen,” Transatlantic Trade, May-June 1920, 21.

[22] “German Watering Resorts,” Transatlantic Trade, June 1923, 44.

[23] Transatlantic Trade, May 1927, 107. Susan Stanford Friedman, “Planetarity: Musing Modernist Studies.” Modernism/modernity 17, no. 3 (2010): 471–99, 482.

[24] McKay, Claude. A Long Way from Home (1969), (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2007), 231. Gertrude Stein quoted in Gerald Kennedy, Imagining Paris (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993), 41.

[25] Susan Leigh Star, “The Ethnography of Infrastructure,” American Behavioral Scientist 43 (1999), 377–91, 377.

[26] Thomas S. Davis, The Extinct Scene (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), 2.

[27] Jens Muller, Pioneers of German Graphic Design (Berlin: Callisto Publishers, 2017), 223.

[28] “Industrial Coats of Arms in Germany,” Transatlantic Trade, December 1925, 314.

[29] Since 2015, Alan Liu has been curating the texts, people, and events central to the burgeoning field he calls Critical Infrastructure Studies (CIS). Liu has collected bibliographies of relevant texts at Within this cluster, more can be found on “infrastructuralism,” and infrastructure’s connections to “new institutionalism,” in Carlos Alonso Nugent  and Robert Higney’s contributions.

[30] Michael Rubenstein, Bruce Robbins, and Sophie Beal, “Infrastructuralism: An Introduction,” Modern Fiction Studies 61, no. 4 (2015): 575–86, 585. Alan Liu, “Drafts for Against the Cultural Singularity (book in progress),” Alan Liu, 2 May 2016.

[31] Bridget Chalk, Modernism and Mobility: The Passport and Cosmopolitan Experience (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014); Cóilín Parsons, The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); So, Transpacific Community; and Merve Emre, “Ironic Institutions: Counterculture Fictions and the American Express Company,” American Literature 87, no. 1 (2015): 107–36. One of the few sites in modernist studies, thus far, to make engagement with these terms explicit was a panel organized by Ted Atkinson at the Modernist Studies Association’s 2018 conference in Columbus, Ohio, titled “Infrastructure on Exhibition: Modernism & Visual Culture.”