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America's Assembly Line

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ISBN-10: 0262018713

ISBN-13: 9780262018715

Edition: 2013

Authors: David E. Nye

List price: $35.00
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The assembly line was invented in 1913 and has been in continuous operation eversince. It is the most familiar form of mass production. Both praised as a boon to workers andcondemned for exploiting them, it has been celebrated and satirized. (We can still picture Chaplin'slittle tramp trying to keep up with a factory conveyor belt.) In America's AssemblyLine, David Nye examines the industrial innovation that made the United States productiveand wealthy in the twentieth century.The assembly line -- developed at the FordMotor Company in 1913 for the mass production of Model Ts -- first created and then served anexpanding mass market. It inspired fiction, paintings, photographs, comedy, cafeteria layouts, andcookie-cutter suburban housing. It also transformed industrial labor and provoked strikes and uniondrives. During World War II and the Cold War, it was often seen as a bastion of liberty andcapitalism. By 1980, Japan had reinvented the assembly line as a system of "leanmanufacturing"; American industry reluctantly adopted this new approach. Nye describes thisevolution and the new global landscape of increasingly automated factories, with fewer industrialjobs in America and questionable working conditions in developing countries. A century after Ford'spioneering innovation, the assembly line continues to evolve toward more sustainablemanufacturing.
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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 2/15/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 360
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

David E. Nye is Professor of American Studies at the Danish Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Southern Denmark. He is the author of Technology Matters: Questions to Live With and When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America, both published by the MIT Press, and other books.

War and Cold War
Global Labor