Cotton Enterprises: Networks and Strategies: Lombardy in the Industrial Revolution, 1815-1860, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Cotton Enterprises: Networks and Strategies

Lombardy in the Industrial Revolution, 1815-1860, 1st Edition

By Silvia A. Conca Messina


158 pages

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Paperback: 9781138616943
pub: 2018-06-08
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pub: 2015-11-17
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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

About the Author

Silvia A. Conca Messina is Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Milan, Italy.

About the Series

Routledge International Studies in Business History

Recent years have seen an explosion of research in business history. Business history is now seen variously as a key to understanding a vital aspect of the past, a source of parallels and insights into modern business practice, and a way of understanding the evolution of modern business practice. This series is not limited to any single approach, and explores a wide range of issues and industries.

Authors wishing to submit proposals for publication consideration in the Routledge International Studies in Business History series can contact series editors Jeffrey Fear ( and Christina Lubinski (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development