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Historical Collections

More Publications from Historical Collections Research

Unique among business school libraries, Baker Library possesses remarkably comprehensive and diverse historical collections that offer a window on the development and growth of business and industry from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries. Below are brief descriptions of selected publications representing some of the varied uses, both traditional and nontraditional, of primary source materials held in Baker Library Historical Collections.

Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications
By Richard R. John

Using publications from the Baker Old Class Collection in addition to the business archives of some of the major entities, Columbia University Professor of Journalism Richard R. John examines the history of electricity based communication media and federal, state and local governmental influences on the development of telecommunications networks.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America
By Sharon Ann Murphy

In this latest title from the Studies in Early American Economy and Society monograph series, Providence College's Sharon Ann Murphy examines the growth of the American for-profit life insurance industry throughout the 19th century and its relevance to the emerging middle class. In the course of her research on life insurance at Baker Library, Murphy used the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company Records, the New York Life Insurance and Trust Company records, the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company records, the Elizur Wright Business Papers, and the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States Records as well as materials from the Historic Corporate Reports Collection and the Baker Old Class Collection.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

The South Sea Bubble: an Economic History of its Origins and Consequences
By Helen J. Paul

University of Southampton Research Fellow Helen J. Paul's new economic history of the South Sea Bubble uses historic evidence and quantitative analysis to place the early eighteenth century crash into a wider societal context. Instead of focusing on the losses, Paul looks at the financial, legal, political systems that created rational reasons for investing. Paul used digital facsimiles from Kress Collection of Business and Economics available via Sunk in Lucre's Sordid Charms: South Sea Bubble Resources in the Kress Collection at Baker Library and the subscription database Making of the Modern World. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Unexceptional Women: Female Proprietors in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Albany, New York, 1830-1885
By Susan Ingalls Lewis

In this new work and Hagley Prize recipient for the best book in business history, State University of New York at New Paltz Associate Professor Susan Ingalls Lewis studies the scope of enterprises run by women in mid 19th century Albany, New York. Lewis used city directories, census data, and the R.G. Dun & Company credit report volumes to take a local approach toward examining preconceptions about the roles and contributions of women in American business, labor, and economic history. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Experiments in Financial Democracy: Corporate Governance and Financial Development in Brazil, 1882-1950
By Aldo Musacchio

In this new work, HBS Associate Professor and Marvin Bower Fellow Aldo Musacchio uses late 19th and early 20th century Brazil as a case study to posit that legal and institutional environments do not have exclusive, long term effects on market development. Examining the topic of investor protection through the lens of Brazil's financial expansion, he argues that company practices evolved more from internal corporate governance than from governmental laws.

In his research, Aldo Musacchio used material from the Baker Old Class Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Railroads in the Old South : Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society
By Aaron W. Marrs

In this work developed from his doctoral dissertation, Aaron Marrs challenges historical assumptions about the antebellum South and its attitudes toward modernization and enterprise. Citing a variety of primary documents, including the Boston & Albany Railroad Collection, the Rutland & Washington Railroad records, and the Stone & Harris Collection, Marrs demonstrates how the South willingly embraced innovation and technology, but remained unwilling to change the conservative social ideas of its complex society. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

The Craftsman and the Critic: Defining Usefulness and Beauty in Arts and Crafts-Era Boston
By Beverly K. Brandt

Starting from William Morris' adage "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful," Brandt examines the rise of design criticism and the Society of Arts and Crafts Boston in the development of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Extensive visual evidence came from Baker Library's Kress Collection, Advertising Ephemera Collections, Trade Catalogs, 19th Century Boston Photographs, and the Reed & Barton Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

From Higher Aims to Hired Hands : the Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession

From Higher Aims to Hired Hands : the Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession
By Rakesh Khurana

This groundbreaking book examines the late nineteenth century struggle of the new managerial elite, who, at the time, began working with major universities to establish graduate business education programs. Creating a profession of business management, however, required codifying knowledge and developing enforceable standards of conduct, which are still contentious subjects today. Drawing on a rich set of archival material from business schools, foundations, and academic associations, Khurana traces how business educators confronted the challenges of making business management a profession from the Progressive era, though the Depression, the postwar boom years, and in recent decades of freewheeling capitalism. However, this is not just a social history of business management - it is a call to action. Khurana argues that business schools have largely lost the battle for professionalism and instead have become purveyors of a product, the MBA, with students treated as consumers. Professional and moral ideals that once animated and inspired business schools have been conquered by a perspective that managers are merely agents of shareholders, beholden only to the cause of share profits. The time has come, he concludes, to rejuvenate the training of future business leaders.

In his research, Rakesh Khurana used selections from the Harvard Business School Archives. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

A Nation of Counterfeiters : Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States

A Nation of Counterfeiters : Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States
By Stephen Mihm

In this new work, Stephen Mihm vividly describes the often fraudulent pre-Civil War economy, when the federal government neither printed paper money nor regulated the regional banks that did. With more than 10,000 varieties of cheaply printed currency on the market by the 1850s, counterfeiters thrived and flourished. Mihm, an assistant professor of history at the University of Georgia, lends structure to the chaos by telling the stories of corrupt bankers, engravers, police, and criminals and paints a fascinating picture of a country swimming in counterfeit currency and teetering on the brink of massive inflation. This publication examines early, freewheeling American capitalism before the development of a single national currency and its effect on a developing national character.

In his research, Stephen Mihm used Kress Collection, the Business Manuscripts Collection, and the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

The Rise of Business Forecasting Agencies in the United States

The Rise of Business Forecasting Agencies in the United States
By Walter Friedman

Walter Friedman's working paper examines the emergence of economic forecasting in the early decades of the twentieth century. Thoroughly investigating published and archival sources of that time, as well as subsequent research, Friedman explores the ongoing efforts of entrepreneurs, economists, and institutions to solve the puzzle of irregular, unpredictable economic growth. Through this study he addresses some of the reasons why business forecasting developed, how it developed over time, and its long-term impact on business practices.

Consult the Catalog Record or the abstract for more information about the working paper.

Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital

Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital
By Spencer Ante

A lively account of the life and ongoing influence of Georges Doriot, the charismatic and visionary Frenchman who was a decorated brigadier general, a prominent HBS professor, the founder of INSEAD, and a pioneer in the concept and development of the venture capital industry in postwar America. Ante's expansive and engaging work examines Doriot's business and life philosophies. Ante found valuable information for his research in the administrative records of Dean Wallace B. Donham and Dean Donald K. David from the HBS Archives.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning

Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning
by Regina Lee Blaszczyk

Blaszczyk tells the singular story of American consumer society from the perspective of mass-market retailers and manufacturers between the Civil War and World War II. For her probing examination of the home furnishings industry-with a particular focus on durable household goods-the author relied largely on trade journals, industry publications, business records, and oral histories, including material from the R. G. Dun & Co. Collection, the R. H. Macy and Co. Collection, the Reed & Barton Collection, the Ralph M. Hower Papers, the Melvin T. Copeland Papers, and the Paul T. Cherington Papers at Baker Library. This title received the 2001 Hagley Prize for the best book in business history.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it here

Trust and Power: Consumers, the Modern Corporation, and the Making of the United States Automobile Market

Trust and Power: Consumers, the Modern Corporation, and the Making of the United States Automobile Market
By Sally Clarke

Bringing together elements of business, economic, and social history, Sally Clarke investigates the three major phases of the automobile market-the new market of the early 1900s, the mass market of the 1920s, and the mature market following World War II-to skillfully elucidate how America had transformed into a car culture by the end of the twentieth century. Clarke found extensive supportive documentation in the outstanding advertising resources in the Trade Catalog Collection as well as diverse published and ephemeral materials in the Baker Old Class Collection.

Please consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it here.

The Boardinghouse in Nineteenth-Century America

The Boardinghouse in Nineteenth-Century America
By Wendy Gamber

Nineteenth-century America saw a rapidly changing domestic environment that gave way to a stark dichotomy: the traditional middle-class home and the urban boardinghouse. In this rich and nuanced study, Wendy Gamber contends that the very existence of the boardinghouse helped create the domestic ideal of the single-family home. The William Peck Account Book (1800-1801) and the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection of nineteenth-century credit reports document the culture and business of boardinghouses and help bring to life the individuals who ran them.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Captain Ahab had a wife : New England women & the whalefishery, 1720-1870

Captain Ahab Had a Wife : New England Women & the Whalefishery, 1720-1870
By Lisa Norling

Through compelling and often poignant stories of the "Cape Horn widows" left behind onshore as their husbands journeyed to distant seas on voyages lasting up to five years, Lisa Norling exposes the painful discrepancies between gender ideals and the reality of maritime life for women. Records in the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection, the Ship William Wirt Collection, the Ship Reindeer Collection, and the Matthew Howland Collection all helped bring these stories to vivid life.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

A culture of credit : embedding trust and transparency in American business

A Culture of Credit: Embedding Trust and Transparency in American Business
By Rowena Olegario

In this study of how creditworthiness came to be determined in the American mercantile trade, Rowena Olegario traces how resistance, mutual suspicion, skepticism, and legal challenges were overcome in the relentless quest to make information on business borrowers more accurate and available. An essential resource for Olegario's research was the library's R.G. Dun & Co. Collection, comprised of 2,580 volumes of handwritten credit reports on individuals and firms, ranging in date from 1841 to 1892.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Born Losers: a History of Failure in America

Born Losers: a History of Failure in America
By Scott Sandage

Nearly a decade of exhaustive research-including long hours delving into the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection, the Ropes Family Collection, and the James Morris Whiton Collection-formed the foundation for this comprehensive cultural history of America's "born losers." Scott Sandage explores how the meaning of failure evolved in the nineteenth century from a business loss into a personality deficit, from a career setback to a gauge of one's self-worth.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption & Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States

Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption & Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States
By John Soluri

Focusing on the complex relationship between the United States' increasing consumption and Honduras' mass production of bananas, Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor of History John Soluri studies the shift from the small, independent growers of the nineteenth century to the multinational agribusinesses of the twentieth century. Banana Cultures illuminates the long-term effects of a dominant crop upon Central American economies, societies, and ecologies. Essential visual evidence for Soluri's research came from the United Fruit Company Photograph Collection at Baker Library, which consists of approximately 10,400 photographs documenting all aspects of the company's properties and production.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Inventing the

Inventing the "American Way" : the Politics of Consensus from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Movement
By Wendy Wall

This contribution to American social history investigates the competing efforts of business groups, politicians, leftist intellectuals, interfaith proponents, civil rights activists, and many others over nearly three decades to shape public understanding of the meaning of the "American Way." Wall's research included use of Baker Library's extensive collection of the papers of Winthrop W. Aldrich, an influential twentieth-century American banker, financier, and politician.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century
By JoAnne Yates

At the intersection of business history and the history of technology, JoAnne Yates looks into how life insurance firms adopted and shaped information-processing technology through most of the twentieth century. Especially useful to her investigation were the rich and varied resources in the Baker Old Class Collection, which includes trade publications, government documents, corporate histories and publications, and business directories from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861-1865
By Mark R. Wilson

Drawing from primary source material in both military and business records, Mark R. Wilson's The Business of Civil War uses the Union's economic mobilization to examine the role of army bureaucrats in 19th century American business and politics. Carefully researched, this book details how the military developed, organized, and managed a wartime economy then looks forward to determine how the Civil War built the foundation for future economic growth.

In his research, Mark R. Wilson used selections from the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

American Silk 1830-1930: Entrepreneurs and Artifacts

American Silk 1830-1930: Entrepreneurs and Artifacts
By Jacqueline Field, Marjorie Senechal, Madelyn Shaw
American Silk 1830-1930: Entrepreneurs and Artifacts, traces the history of the American silk industry, which once was the largest in the world. The growth and eventual decline of silk in America is examined through three different and compelling case studies: the Nonotuck Silk Company of Northampton, Massachusetts; the Haskell Silk Company of Westbrook, Maine; and the Mallinson Silk Company of New York and Pennsylvania. The three businesses studied cover the development of the U.S. silk industry from its beginnings in the 1830s to its decline in the 1930s when, with the growth of rayon, the first of the synthetic imitators, the market share for silk shrank. Silk eventually returned to being a luxury fabric, but, for a time, American technological innovations and entrepreneurs succeeded in bringing silk within the reach of more people than ever before.

In their research, Field, Senechal and Shaw used the R.G. Dun & Company Collection, the Haskell Silk Collection, which is part of the Business Manuscripts Collection, and the Kress Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Organizing Control: August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate Management

Organizing Control: August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate Management
By Jeffrey R. Fear
In Organizing Control: August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate Management, University of Redlands professor Jeffrey Fear demolishes the myth of German management as inferior to the American system. Instead, he unveils a strong, independent and sophisticated German managerial tradition. Fear traces the evolution of management inside the Thyssen-Konzern and the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (United Steel Works) between 1871 and 1934 and examines the multitude of German innovations in management practices and production technology. Shattering stereotypes of the overly bureaucratic and rigid German firm, Fear displays a decentralized and flexible system that underscores the dynamic and entrepreneurial nature of German business.

In his research, Jeffrey Fear used the Baker Old Class Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it here.

The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929

The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929
By Elspeth Brown
In this inspired study, Elspeth H. Brown examines the intersection of photography with corporate concerns about efficiency in the Progressive period. Discussing, among others, the work of Frederick W. Taylor, Eadweard Muybridge, Frank Gilbreth, and Lewis Hine, Brown explores this connection through a variety of examples, including racial discrimination in hiring, the challenge of photographic realism, and the gendered assumptions at work in the origins of modern marketing. Brown concludes that the goal of photographic documentation in the Progressive Era was to rationalize a modern economy using a set of managerial innovations that were designed to address new levels of industrial production. In her research, Elspeth Brown used the Baker Old Class Collection. For more information about the book, please consult the Catalog Record, or purchase the book here.

Downtown America: A History of the Place and the People Who Made It

Downtown America: A History of the Place and the People Who Made It
By Alison Isenberg

From downtown beautification in the 1920s through the civil rights movement and urban renewal into the 1970s, Alison Isenberg traces the cultural and economic history of city centers in twentieth-century America. In her research, Isenberg used the Resseguie Collection, a unique collection of newspaper clippings and research notes that range in date from 1945 to 1966 and document the history of the department store and the retail industry.

Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Forging America: Ironworkers, Adventurers, and the Industrious Revolution

Forging America: Ironworkers, Adventurers, and the Industrious Revolution
By John Bezís-Selfa
Forging America: Ironworkers, Adventurers, and the Industrious Revolution traces the history of the iron industry in America from 1620-1830. According to the author, the iron industry was a "microcosm of early Anglo-American society" and this case study explores the role of work in people's lives and the intersections between work and race, ethnicity, religion, and class in early America. The story John Bezís-Selfa tells is not just that of the "adventurers"-the iron masters, the entrepreneurs, the businessmen-but that of the ironworkers (mainly immigrants and slaves) and the role they played in what would become the largest industry in British North America. In his research, Bezís-Selfa used the Lynn Iron Works Collection, part of the Business Manuscripts Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

The Ice King: Frederic Tudor and His Circle

The Ice King: Frederic Tudor and His Circle
By Carl Seaburg and Stanley Paterson
Edited by Alan Seaburg
In the summer of 1805, while sipping an ice-cooled drink at his family's country estate outside Boston, Frederic Tudor was first inspired to undertake an unheard-of venture: shipping ice from New England to the tropics. Although initially dismissed as impossible, his ice cutting and exporting business would eventually make Tudor one of America's first millionaires. This biography of Boston's "Ice King" chronicles Tudor's early years, his entrepreneurial ventures, and his determined path to success despite numerous obstacles. In their research for the book, Seaburg and Paterson examined Frederic Tudor's personal diaries and the administrative records of the Tudor Ice Company Collection (1752-1863), part of the Business Manuscripts Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960

The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960
By Laura Putnam
In this book, historian Laura Putnam explores the interplay between gender, kinship and community in nineteenth-century Costa Rica. Central to her study were the West Indian migrant workers employed on the banana plantations of the United Fruit Company in Port Limón. The author used autobiographies and personal accounts, as well as photographs from the United Fruit Company Photograph Collection part of the Business Manuscripts Collection, in her research. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

The Dissemination of the Wealth of Nations in French and in France, 1776-1843

The Dissemination of the Wealth of Nations in French and in France, 1776-1843
by Kenneth E. Carpenter
Combining cultural history and bibliographical analysis, Ken Carpenter traces the transmission of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations to French readers. He provides full bibliographical descriptions, necessary for identifying these works and understanding their interpretative agenda, as well as extensive quotations showing how translators, commentators, editors, and publishers mediated Adam Smith's ideas. Carpenter began his work on the project while he was curator of the Kress Collection of Business and Economics at Baker Library, and he makes extensive use of the Vanderblue Memorial Collection of Smithiana. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America

In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America
by Alice Kessler-Harris
In this comprehensive volume, Kessler-Harris scrutinizes historical legislation and social policy from the New Deal onwards to expose the direct ways in which a "gendered imagination" has resulted in the systematic deprivation of full economic citizenship for women in the United States. According to the author, the "gendered imagination" is a combination of traditional conceptions of gender and social policy. It is manifested in law that implies restrictive ideas of fairness with regard to gender in the definition of a "worker." To formulate her argument concerning the human relations experiments conducted at the Hawthorne Works in Chicago in the late 1920s, Kessler-Harris examined manuscript materials and photographs from the Western Electric Hawthorne Studies Collection, part of the Business Manuscripts Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism: Builders in Philadelphia, 1790-1850

Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism: Builders in Philadelphia, 1790-1850
by Donna J. Rilling
Rilling's book examines the business practices of early nineteenth-century craftsmen in Philadelphia, with particular emphasis on the role of economic speculation by master builders. The author focuses her inquiry on the entrepreneurial activities of artisans in the unpredictable and often unstable economy of Jacksonian America. She illustrates the economic development of Philadelphia, particularly the burgeoning construction industry that emerged during the city's golden era. Rilling consulted the Pennsylvania volumes of the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

The Capitalist Philosophers: The Geniuses of Modern Business—Their Lives, Times, and Ideas

The Capitalist Philosophers: The Geniuses of Modern Business—Their Lives, Times, and Ideas
by Andrea Gabor
In this history of management thought, Andrea Gabor argues that individuals can have an impact on history, and that the subjects of this book have fundamentally altered the way modern Americans perceive "the dominant institution in our society—the corporation." The volume contains biographies of thirteen seminal thinkers in the American business world. Chapter Four, "Fritz Roethlisberger and Elton Mayo: Two Creative Misfits Who Invented 'Human Relations' (and Put Harvard Business School on the Map)," is based on the papers of both faculty members in the Harvard Business School Archives. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Navigating Failure: Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America

Navigating Failure: Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America
by Edward J. Balleisen
This volume examines the effects of the first bankruptcy laws passed in the United States, following the Panics of 1837 and 1839. In the depression of the early 1840s, large numbers of businessmen (and women) found themselves in debt. Balleisen uses a variety of sources, including credit reports, newspaper articles, court records, and popular literature, to argue that the financial troubles of the time caused people to alter their attitudes about commercial failure, and ultimately shaped modern American business practices. The author examined the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection and the papers of Henry B. Hyde in the Equitable Life Assurance Society Collection, part of the Business Manuscript Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

The Monied Metropolis:  New York City and the Consolidation of the American Bourgeoisie, 1850-1896

The Monied Metropolis: New York City and the Consolidation of the American Bourgeoisie, 1850-1896
by Sven Beckert
Sven Beckert, Associate Professor of History at Harvard University, has written an illuminating volume about the nineteenth-century birth of a hugely powerful and elite upper class, the American bourgeoisie. He employs a rich and diverse body of primary sources to demonstrate the ways wealthy New Yorkers dominated the social, cultural, political, and economic landscapes of the nation. "Upper-class power was such that more than a hundred years later, it is not presidents but prominent bourgeois New Yorkers, such as John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, who still symbolize the age to most Americans." Beckert used the numerous New York City volumes of the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Devices and Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America

Devices and Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America
by Andrea Tone
Andrea Tone writes that "Devices and Desires is the story of what it was like to make, buy, and use contraceptives during a century when the contraceptive industry was transformed from an illicit trade operating out of basement workshops and pornography outlets to one of the most successful legitimate businesses in American history." The author consulted the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection and obtained credit reports on several nineteenth-century businessmen arrested for violating the 1873 Comstock Act (which criminalized the contraceptive industry). She also examined a scrapbook of "unprintable" medical advertisements from the E.C. Allen Company, part of the Business Manuscripts Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

We All Got History

We All Got History: The Memory Books of Amos Webber
by Nick Salvatore
Author Nick Salvatore came to the Historical Collections Department at Baker Library to examine the Records of the American Steel & Wire Company and its predecessors, part of the Business Manuscripts Collection, for an article on workers' control of production in nineteenth-century America. Following the lead of a handwritten notation in the library's finding aid to the collection, he discovered instead a nine-volume journal written by a man named Amos Webber. A free African-American in Philadelphia and a supervisor for the company, Webber recorded his views on politics, natural disasters, and equal rights in addition to hundreds of other subjects over the course of 50 years. His experiences included serving in the Union Army during the Civil War and participating in the Underground Railroad. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

 

 

Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash

Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash
by Susan Strasser
"Although people have always thrown things out," writes author Susan Strasser, "trash has not always been the same. . . . The history of trash, then, offers fundamental insights about the history of industrial society and its consumer culture." Strasser used the memorandum books of Morillo Noyes, which are part of the Records of peddlers in New York and Vermont in the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library, to support her thesis. Noyes, a peddler in Vermont in the 1880s, employed dozens of workers to scour the countryside in search of trash that could be reused and resold at a profit. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Voyage of the Frolic

The Voyage of the Frolic: New England Merchants and the Opium Trade
by Thomas N. Layton
What do nineteenth-century Boston merchants, Baltimore shipbuilders, Bombay opium brokers, Pomo Indians, and newly rich businessmen in San Francisco have in common? They are all connected to a sleek clipper named the Frolic, built in the 1850s to exploit the Asian opium trade. Author Thomas Layton was able to connect these people to the ship through his research in the records of Augustine Heard & Company, part of the Hurd [Heard] Family Business Records, located in the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

In Pursuit of Leviathan

In Pursuit of Leviathan
by Lance Davis, Robert Gallman, and Karin Gleiter
This comprehensive history of the whaling industry examines the economic and social forces that contributed both to the enormous success of the American whaling industry in the mid-nineteenth century and to its rapid decline. The authors used a wide variety of materials in the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library, including seamen's accounts of whaling voyages, ship inventories and accounts, and ledger books from companies that supplied whaling outfits. Perhaps the most remarkable item used is Joseph Dias's manuscript catalog of New Bedford whaling ships, providing information on more than 4,000 whaling voyages that took place in the years 1783 to 1906. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Before Photocopying

Before Photocopying: The Art and History of Mechanical Copying, 1780—1938
by Barbara Rhodes and William Wells Streeter
In this volume, William Streeter and Barbara Rhodes have compiled a definitive history of mechanical copying from its origins in the mid-eighteenth century to its demise in the early twentieth century with the advent of the typewriter and carbon paper. The authors conducted exhaustive research using a range of historical materials such as patent applications, trade catalogs, and company histories. Among the many manuscript collections that Streeter consulted is the Thomas Groom Collection, which is part of the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library. A stationery business in Boston for more than 100 years, the firm at one point did its own printing and owned a binding subsidiary. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

History of Black Business in America

The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship
by Juliet E.K. Walker
Author Juliet Walker draws on hundreds of primary and secondary sources to compile the first and only comprehensive survey of black business development to date. One of the primary sources that Walker used was the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection at Baker Library, comprised of thousands of credit reports on businesses and individuals from locations throughout the expanding nineteenth-century United States. Walker used these reports to research black businesses and entrepreneurs in the mid-nineteenth century. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Transforming Women's Work

Transforming Women's Work: New England Lives in the Industrial Revolution
by Thomas Dublin
To tell the stories of thousands of nineteenth-century New England women workers, Dublin consulted a variety of historical resources, including city directories, diaries, published genealogies, and census and tax records. He also relied on the credit ledgers of the R.G. Dun & Co. Collection as well as many of the company records in the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library. In particular, the records of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company and the Lawrence Manufacturing Company were used in his chapter on textile mill operatives in Lowell, Massachusetts. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Power of Commerce

The Power of Commerce: Economy and Governance in the First British Empire
by Nancy F. Koehn
What is the price of becoming and remaining a world power? Examining a wide range of primary sources, Koehn analyzes how Britain managed the challenges of international supremacy in the years between the Peace of Paris treaty that ended the Seven Years War in 1763 and the Boston Tea Party in 1773. In addition to consulting the major printed works of the time, Koehn studied many of the pamphlets and printed ephemera available in the Kress Collection of Business and Economics at Baker Library to provide a deeper understanding of the economic and political atmosphere of the first British Empire. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

Land of Desire

Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture
by William Leach
Weaving together threads from social and business history, Leach traces the rise of American mass-market culture from its beginnings in the 1890s through the growth of mass retailing in the first half of the twentieth century. The evolution of America's mass commercial economy and the development of the Harvard Business School were closely related in the 1920s, as HBS took a leading role in research and in forming relationships with the corporate marketing and merchandising sectors of the economy. Leach relies heavily on materials in the Harvard Business School Archives as well as the business records of Louis Edward Kirstein in the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library to document this remarkable period in both American economic history and the history of the school. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age
by Simon Schama
This remarkably diverse work examines seventeenth-century Holland, a nation that attained an unprecedented level of affluence yet continued to struggle with the moral implications and responsibilities of this prosperity. Challenging the conventions of social and cultural history, Schama looks beyond purely economic and political analyses to the rich cultural context of the rise of the Dutch Republic. The author explores the collective personality of this extraordinary people by looking at a vast array of period documents and art, including materials in the Bleichroeder Print Collection in the Kress Collection of Business and Economics at Baker Library. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

 

 

A Delicate Experiement

A Delicate Experiment: The Harvard Business School, 1908—1945
by Jeffrey L. Cruikshank
Harvard Business School was founded in 1908 amidst great doubt that such a program was even necessary, much less capable of success. The school quickly transformed from an experiment into an established institution, attracting students worldwide and becoming a center for research in business topics. Relying on historical materials within the Harvard Business School Archives at Baker Library, A Delicate Experiment unfolds the first 40 or so years of the history of the Harvard Business School. It is the correspondence, reports, early course material, research files, faculty papers, building plans, and photographs that enable this story to be told. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book.

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