Based on innovative and unique primary sources (e.g. notarial deeds) Cotton Enterprises: Networks and Strategies looks to tell the story of the Lombardy cotton industry in the early 19th century, particularly the stories of entrepreneurs such as Francesco Turati who were able to ‘corner’ this otherwise atomistic industry. The book looks at both the financial and strategic elements of the businesses, as well as looking at enabling technology and even the emergence of factory organization in Italy and takes a business history analysis of pre-industrial business enterprises in a developing economy by taking into account all the crucial functions of enterprise.
Cotton Enterprises: Networks and Strategies makes important contributions to the study and research of the financing of early cotton mills, technology transfer in these entrepreneurial ventures, the organization of production, including a detailed discussion of the available technology, networks and relationships within the district. By highlighting the shift from putting-out to factory system, the crucial change of actors (both entrepreneurs and workers) and the birth of a local industrial district, exerting a long-lasting influence on the history of the area the book outlines the building of entrepreneurial networks and social hierarchies in (at the time) a new urban context.
Aimed at scholars, researchers and students in the fields of management history, development entrepreneurship and regional economics, Cotton Enterprises: Networks and Strategies answers previously non-addressable questions via innovative research methods and, as such, will be a key work in the field for years to come.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Antecedents to the Factory System 2. Early Spinning Mills and Localisation 3. The New Cotton Factories: A Short Chronology 4.The Expansion of Trade: Organisation and Development 5. Local Loan Markets And Social Networks 6. Setting Up a New Plant 7. Financial Sources and Commercial Credit 8. Francesco Turati and His Network Enterprise 9. The "Ponti" Family-Firm: Proto-Industry, Factory and Finance 10. The Cotton Business in Milan: An Oligarchic Structure 11. Channels and Forms of Technology Transfer 12. Industrial Plants, Water Wheels And Turbines 13. Inside the Factories: Textile Machinery and Production Organisation 14. Slow Changes in Weaving Manufacture Conclusion
Silvia A. Conca Messina is Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Milan, Italy.