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Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800-1868


Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800-1868 Cover


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Publisher Comments:

Veins of iron run deep in the history of America. Iron making began almost as soon as European settlement, with the establishment of the first ironworks in colonial Massachusetts. Yet it was Great Britain that became the Atlantic worldandrsquo;s dominant low-cost, high-volume producer of iron, a position it retained throughout the nineteenth century. It was not until after the Civil War that American iron producers began to match the scale and efficiency of the British iron industry.
In Mastering Iron, Anne Kelly Knowles argues that the prolonged development of the US iron industry was largely due to geographical problems the British did not face. Pairing exhaustive manuscript research with analysis of a detailed geospatial database that she built of the industry, Knowles reconstructs the American iron industry in unprecedented depth, from locating hundreds of iron companies in their social and environmental contexts to explaining workplace culture and social relations between workers and managers. She demonstrates how ironworks in Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia struggled to replicate British technologies but, in the attempt, brought about changes in the American industry that set the stage for the subsequent age of steel.
Richly illustrated with dozens of original maps and period art work, all in full color, Mastering Iron sheds new light on American ambitions and highlights the challenges a young nation faced as it grappled with its geographic conditions.

About the Author

Anne Kelly Knowlesand#160;is a historical geographer who teaches at Middlebury College, where she has been a member of the Department of Geography since 2002. A 2015and#160;Guggenheim Fellow, she is the author ofand#160;Calvinists Incorporated: Welsh Immigrants on Ohioandrsquo;s Industrial Frontier, also published by the University of Chicago Press, and the editor ofand#160;Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship.and#160;

Table of Contents

Introduction: Iron in America

1and#160;Mapping the Iron Industry

2and#160;The Worlds of Ironworkers

3and#160;High Hopes and Failure

4and#160;The Elements of Success

5and#160;Iron for the Civil Warand#160;

Conclusion: American Iron


Appendix: A Note on Historical GIS




Map Sources


Product Details

Knowles, Anne Kelly
University of Chicago Press
United States - 19th Century
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
66 color plates, 10 halftones, 2 line dr
10 x 7 in

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Related Subjects

Business » General
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century

Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800-1868 New Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226448596 Reviews:
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