Glass Towns: Industry, Labor, and Political Economy in Appalachia, 1890-1930s

Glass Towns: Industry, Labor, and Political Economy in Appalachia, 1890-1930s

by Ken Fones-Wolf
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0252073711

ISBN-13: 9780252073717

Pub. Date: 01/11/2007

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

One of the central questions facing scholars of Appalachia concerns how a region so rich in natural resources could end up a symbol of poverty. Typical culprits include absentee landowners, reactionary coal operators, stubborn mountaineers, and greedy politicians. In a deft combination of labor and business history, Glass Towns complicates these answers by examining

Overview

One of the central questions facing scholars of Appalachia concerns how a region so rich in natural resources could end up a symbol of poverty. Typical culprits include absentee landowners, reactionary coal operators, stubborn mountaineers, and greedy politicians. In a deft combination of labor and business history, Glass Towns complicates these answers by examining the glass industry's potential to improve West Virginia's political economy by establishing a base of value-added manufacturing to complement the state's abundance of coal, oil, timber, and natural gas.

Through case studies of glass production hubs in Clarksburg, Moundsville, and Fairmont (producing window, tableware, and bottle glass, respectively), Ken Fones-Wolf looks closely at the impact of industry on local populations and immigrant craftsmen. He also examines patterns of global industrial restructuring, the ways workers reshaped workplace culture and political action, and employer strategies for responding to global cornpetition, unreliable markets, and growing labor costs at the end of the nineteenth century.

About the Author:
Ken Fones-Wolf is a professor of history at West Virginia University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252073717
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
01/11/2007
Series:
Working Class in American History Series
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents


List of lllustrations and Maps     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction     xvii
The Restructuring of the Glass Industry
The Emeigence and Crisis of the Dual Monopoly     3
Workers and the Revolution in Glassmaking     29
Glass Towns and Political Economy in West Virginia
The Development Faith and the Glass Industry     59
Moundsville: Enterprising Managers and Upright Citizens     81
Clarksburg: A Craftsman's Paradise     113
Fairmont: A Cutting Edge of Mass Production     146
Into the Depression     175
Note on Sources     193
Notes     197
Index     229

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