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Endless Novelty Specialty Production and American Industrialization, 1865-1925

ISBN-10: 0691070180
ISBN-13: 9780691070186
Edition: 1998
Authors: Philip Scranton
List price: $62.50 Buy it from $24.24
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $62.50
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/23/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.80" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

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. InEndless 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 Noveltywill appeal to historians, business leaders, and to anyone curious about the structure of American industry.

List of Tables
Preface
Introduction
Early Years
Specialty Manufacturing to 1876
Institutions and the Context for Specialty Production
Centennial to Columbian: Specialty Producers, 1876-1893
The 1876 Exposition and Philadelphia Manufacturing
Providence and New York: Jewelry, Silverware, and Printing
Midwestern Specialists: Cincinnati Tools and Grand Rapids Furniture
Depression and Advance, 1893-1912
Chicago and Grand Rapids: Palace Cars and Furniture
Fashioning the Machine Tool Hub: Cincinnati
Back East: The Electrical Equipment Industry
The Perils of Providence Jewelry's Erratic Course
Workshop of the World: Philadelphia
Diverging Pathways, 1913-1925
War, Depression, and Specialty Production into the 1920s
Looking Ahead
Notes
Index

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