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Endless Novelty: Specialty Production and American Industrialization, 1865-1925

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Endless Novelty: Specialty Production and American Industrialization, 1865-1925 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Flexibility, specialization, and niche marketing are buzzwords in the business literature these days, yet few realize that it was these elements that helped the United States first emerge as a global manufacturing leader between the Civil War and World War I. The huge mass production-based businesses--steel, oil, and autos--have long been given sole credit for this emergence. In Endless Novelty, Philip Scranton boldly recasts the history of this vital episode in the development of American business, known as the nation's second industrial revolution, by considering the crucial impact of trades featuring specialty, not standardized, production. Scranton takes us on a grand tour through American specialty firms and districts, where, for example, we meet printers and jewelry makers in New York and Providence, furniture builders in Grand Rapids, and tool specialists in Cincinnati. Throughout he highlights the benevolent as well as the strained relationships between workers and proprietors, the lively interactions among entrepreneurs and city leaders, and the personal achievements of industrial engineers like Frederic W. Taylor.

Scranton shows that in sectors producing goods such as furniture, jewelry, machine tools, and electrical equipment, firms made goods to order or in batches, and industrial districts and networks flourished, creating millions of jobs. These enterprises relied on flexibility, skilled labor, close interactions with clients, suppliers, and rivals, and opportunistic pricing to generate profit streams. They built interfirm alliances to manage markets and fashioned specialized institutions--trade schools, industrial banks, labor bureaus, and sales consortia. In creating regional synergies and economies of scope and diversity, the approaches of these industrial firms represent the inverse of mass production.

Challenging views of company organization that have come to dominate the business world in the United States, Endless Novelty will appeal to historians, business leaders, and to anyone curious about the structure of American industry.

Synopsis:

"A tremendously important book, one that attempts to redirect the thrust of scholarship in the area of business and economic history."--John N. Ingham, University of Toronto

Synopsis:

Flexibility, specialization, and niche marketing are buzzwords in the business literature these days, yet few realize that it was these elements that helped the United States first emerge as a global manufacturing leader between the Civil War and World War I. The huge mass production-based businesses--steel, oil, and autos--have long been given sole credit for this emergence. In Endless Novelty, Philip Scranton boldly recasts the history of this vital episode in the development of American business, known as the nation's second industrial revolution, by considering the crucial impact of trades featuring specialty, not standardized, production. Scranton takes us on a grand tour through American specialty firms and districts, where, for example, we meet printers and jewelry makers in New York and Providence, furniture builders in Grand Rapids, and tool specialists in Cincinnati. Throughout he highlights the benevolent as well as the strained relationships between workers and proprietors, the lively interactions among entrepreneurs and city leaders, and the personal achievements of industrial engineers like Frederic W. Taylor.

Scranton shows that in sectors producing goods such as furniture, jewelry, machine tools, and electrical equipment, firms made goods to order or in batches, and industrial districts and networks flourished, creating millions of jobs. These enterprises relied on flexibility, skilled labor, close interactions with clients, suppliers, and rivals, and opportunistic pricing to generate profit streams. They built interfirm alliances to manage markets and fashioned specialized institutions--trade schools, industrial banks, labor bureaus, and sales consortia. In creating regional synergies and economies of scope and diversity, the approaches of these industrial firms represent the inverse of mass production.

Challenging views of company organization that have come to dominate the business world in the United States, Endless Novelty will appeal to historians, business leaders, and to anyone curious about the structure of American industry.

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Preface
Ch. 1Introduction3
Pt. IEarly Years25
Ch. 2Specialty Manufacturing to 187627
Ch. 3Institutions and the Context for Specialty Production60
Pt. IICentennial to Columbian: Specialty Producers, 1876-189379
Ch. 4The 1876 Exposition and Philadelphia Manufacturing81
Ch. 5Providence and New York: Jewelry, Silverware, and Printing108
Ch. 6Midwestern Specialists: Cincinnati Tools and Grand Rapids Furniture133
Pt. IIIDepression and Advance, 1893-1912161
Ch. 7Chicago and Grand Rapids: Palace Cars and Furniture163
Ch. 8Fashioning the Machine Tool Hub: Cincinnati193
Ch. 9Back East: The Electrical Equipment Industry220
Ch. 10The Perils of Providence Jewelry's Erratic Course241
Ch. 11Workshop of the World: Philadelphia260
Pt. IVDiverging Pathways, 1913-1925295
Ch. 12War, Depression, and Specialty Production into the 1920s297
Ch. 13Looking Ahead344
Notes357
Index407

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691070186
Author:
Scranton, Philip
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Industries
Subject:
Economic History
Subject:
Industries - General
Subject:
General Technology
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
American history
Subject:
Business-History and Biography
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
July 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
27 halftones, 23 tables
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 21 oz

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Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » History and Biographies
Business » Management
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 1860 to 1920
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Endless Novelty: Specialty Production and American Industrialization, 1865-1925 New Trade Paper
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$61.75 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691070186 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "A tremendously important book, one that attempts to redirect the thrust of scholarship in the area of business and economic history."--John N. Ingham, University of Toronto
"Synopsis" by , Flexibility, specialization, and niche marketing are buzzwords in the business literature these days, yet few realize that it was these elements that helped the United States first emerge as a global manufacturing leader between the Civil War and World War I. The huge mass production-based businesses--steel, oil, and autos--have long been given sole credit for this emergence. In Endless Novelty, Philip Scranton boldly recasts the history of this vital episode in the development of American business, known as the nation's second industrial revolution, by considering the crucial impact of trades featuring specialty, not standardized, production. Scranton takes us on a grand tour through American specialty firms and districts, where, for example, we meet printers and jewelry makers in New York and Providence, furniture builders in Grand Rapids, and tool specialists in Cincinnati. Throughout he highlights the benevolent as well as the strained relationships between workers and proprietors, the lively interactions among entrepreneurs and city leaders, and the personal achievements of industrial engineers like Frederic W. Taylor.

Scranton shows that in sectors producing goods such as furniture, jewelry, machine tools, and electrical equipment, firms made goods to order or in batches, and industrial districts and networks flourished, creating millions of jobs. These enterprises relied on flexibility, skilled labor, close interactions with clients, suppliers, and rivals, and opportunistic pricing to generate profit streams. They built interfirm alliances to manage markets and fashioned specialized institutions--trade schools, industrial banks, labor bureaus, and sales consortia. In creating regional synergies and economies of scope and diversity, the approaches of these industrial firms represent the inverse of mass production.

Challenging views of company organization that have come to dominate the business world in the United States, Endless Novelty will appeal to historians, business leaders, and to anyone curious about the structure of American industry.

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