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.
The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship, Second Edition, Volume 1, to 1865
Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink
Louis Hyman presents a history of American postwar consumer credit behavior through an examination of the financial practices, policies, institutions, and instruments that shifted the borrowing and lending processes of the 20th century. In the course of his research, Louis Hyman used materials from the Historic Corporate Report Collection and the Baker Old Class Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.
Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications
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.
Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America
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.
The South Sea Bubble: an Economic History of its Origins and Consequences
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
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
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.
Railroads in the Old South : Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society
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
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
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.
A Nation of Counterfeiters : Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States
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
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.
Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital
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.
Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning
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.
Trust and Power: Consumers, the Modern Corporation, and the Making of the United States Automobile Market
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.
The Boardinghouse in Nineteenth-Century America
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.
Captain Ahab Had a Wife : New England Women & the Whalefishery, 1720-1870
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.
A Culture of Credit: Embedding Trust and Transparency in American Business
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.
Born Losers: a History of Failure in America
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.
Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption & Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States
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.
Inventing the "American Way" : the Politics of Consensus from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Movement
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.
Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century
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.
The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861-1865
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.
American Silk 1830-1930: Entrepreneurs and Artifacts
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
The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929
Downtown America: A History of the Place and the People Who Made It
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.
Forging America: Ironworkers, Adventurers, and the Industrious Revolution
The Ice King: Frederic Tudor and His Circle
The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960
The Dissemination of the Wealth of Nations in French and in France, 1776-1843
In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America
Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism: Builders in Philadelphia, 1790-1850
Capitalist Philosophers: The Geniuses of Modern Business—Their Lives,
Times, and Ideas
Failure: Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America
The Monied Metropolis: New York City and the Consolidation of the American Bourgeoisie, 1850-1896
Devices and Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America
We All Got History: The Memory Books of Amos Webber
Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash
The Voyage of the Frolic:
New England Merchants and the Opium Trade
In Pursuit of Leviathan
Before Photocopying: The Art and History of Mechanical Copying, 1780—1938
The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship
Work: New England Lives in the Industrial Revolution
The Power of Commerce: Economy
and Governance in the First British Empire
Land of Desire: Merchants, Power,
and the Rise of a New American Culture
The Embarrassment of Riches:
An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age
A Delicate Experiment: The
Harvard Business School, 1908—1945