By Paul G. Faler
Lynn, Massachusetts, as soon as the major shoe production urban of the U.S., was once in lots of methods a version of the economic urban that a lot of the United States used to be to turn into. This research of the early business revolution in Lynn makes a speciality of the journeymen shoemakers—leading members within the making of the associations, principles, and occasions that shape critical issues within the historical past of operating humans in the United States. Spanning the period of time from simply after the yank Revolution to the Civil battle, it areas exact emphasis at the social adjustments that accompany industrialization, and the effect of these adjustments on staff. It examines the shoe and shoemaking intimately: wages and stipulations of labor, social golf equipment and political events, moves in addition to colleges, and alternate unions in addition to temperance societies. It additionally explores estate possession and social mobility, the origins and nature of sophistication realization and sophistication ideology, and the relatives among employees and brands around the spectrum of social associations. This wealthy, specified examine of the commercial revolution in one group is without doubt one of the few books to be had that mixes hard work background and social historical past, revealing the fullness and breadth within the event of the operating humans.
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Extra info for Mechanics and Manufacturers in the Early Industrial Revolution: Lynn, Massachusetts, 1780-1860
With few exceptions, English craftsmen could make goods that were superior in quality and cheaper in price than those made in the colonies. There were many items which Americans continued to purchase from England long after independence and the dissolution of formal economic restraints. Thus for a town like Lynn, the empire was an obstruction that inhibited economic growth. Despite the supremacy of the Mother Country, the shoe industry did make modest gains. Lynn shoemakers probably peddled most of their goods in the surrounding towns, turning to advantage their willingness to barter and trade.
Economic prospects, however, were not entirely bleak. The people of Lynn persistently sought ways to supplement their meager living. Some probably peddled vegetables, milk, and meat in the market towns nearby. Others of greater manual dexterity may have fashioned in their Page 7 homes a few simple items that could be sold or bartered to people like themselves, who were hardpressed for the cash to buy imported goods. Perhaps in this manner, not suddenly but over a period of decades, the people of Lynn began to make and sell shoes; rough, crude specimens in the early years to be sure, but an article suitable for everyday wear among people of limited means.
Arriving at a synthesis on the American worker has thus become more difficult to achieve in 1980 than it had seemed in 1970. Among the works that appeared during the 1970s are two on Lynn, John Cumbler's Working-Class Community in Industrial America: Work, Leisure, and Struggle in Two Industrial Cities, 1880-1930, and Alan Dawley's Page xiii Class and Community: Lynn in the lndustrial Revolution. Cumbler's is a fine comparative study of Lynn and Fall River that explores some areas of experience that I examined for an earlier period.