Everyday life in the Crown colony of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) was characterized by a direct encounter of people with modernity through the consumption and use of foreign machines - in particular, the Singer sewing machine, but also the gramophone, tramway, bicycle and varieties of industrial equipment. The 'metallic modern' of the 19th and early 20th century Ceylon encompassed multiple worlds of belonging and imagination; and enabled diverse conceptions of time to coexist through encounters with Siam, the United States and Japan as well as a new conception of urban space in Colombo.Metallic Moderndescribes the modern as it was lived and experienced by non-elite groups - tailors, seamstresses, shopkeepers, workers - and suggests that their idea of the modern was nurtured by a changing material world.
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