A Place of Work: The Geography of an Early Nineteenth Century Machine Shop

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A Place of Work: The Geography of an Early Nineteenth Century Machine Shop

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Title: A Place of Work: The Geography of an Early Nineteenth Century Machine Shop
Author: Unger, David S.
Citation: Unger, David S. 2013. A Place of Work: The Geography of an Early Nineteenth Century Machine Shop. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: Between 1813 and 1825 the Boston Manufacturing Company built a textile factory in Waltham, Massachusetts. Their factory is known for many important firsts in American industry, including the first commercially viable power loom, one of the first vertically integrated factories, and one of the first join stock financed manufacturing concerns. This successful factory became the direct model for the large textile mills built along the Merrimack River and elsewhere, iconic locations of American post-colonial industrialization. This dissertation looks at the early development and success of the Boston Manufacturing Company from a geographical perspective. It argues that in order build a successful factory, the company, its managers, and its workers, had to transform their "place": a notion that I investigate from an economic-geographical and anthropological point of view, moving from site, to landscape, to geographic networks. On these grounds, I show how the logic of the factory's development was both embedded in and shaping the emerging structures surrounding it, and how, in turn, the company’s later move to Lowell as one of the iconic industrial sites depended on its having successfully learned the business of "place-making" in its foundational Waltham decade.
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11095960
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