American businesses played as pivotal a role in setting the American standard of living as they did in encouraging the dream. The standard of living became increasingly defined as a set of goods and the establishment and maintenance of spaces to house these goods. In 4 case studies, the means by which objects were both physically transported and culturally represented as desirable are discussed. The four topics are silverplate flatware, bathroom fixtures, mass-produced foursquare dwellings, and early zoning plans. The broad distribution of goods and design ideals at the turn of the 20th century can be considered the nationalization of material culture.