Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise

Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise

by Robert Martello
     
 

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Paul Revere's ride to warn the colonial militia of the British march on Lexington and Concord is a legendary contribution to the American Revolution. Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn reveals another side of this American hero's life, that of a transformational entrepreneur instrumental in the industrial revolution.

Robert Martello combines a biographical

Overview

Paul Revere's ride to warn the colonial militia of the British march on Lexington and Concord is a legendary contribution to the American Revolution. Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn reveals another side of this American hero's life, that of a transformational entrepreneur instrumental in the industrial revolution.

Robert Martello combines a biographical examination of Revere with a probing study of the new nation's business and technological climate. A silversmith prior to the Revolution and heralded for his patriotism during the war, Revere aspired to higher social status within the fledgling United States. To that end, he shifted away from artisan silversmithing toward larger, more involved manufacturing ventures such as ironworking, bronze casting, and copper sheet rolling. Drawing extensively on the Revere Family Papers, Martello explores Revere's vibrant career successes and failures, social networks, business practices, and the groundbreaking metallurgical technologies he developed and employed. Revere's commercial ventures epitomized what Martello terms proto-industrialization, a transitional state between craft work and mass manufacture that characterizes the broader, fast-changing landscape of the American economy. Martello uses Revere as a lens to view the social, economic, and technological milieu of early America while demonstrating Revere's pivotal role in both the American Revolution and the rise of industrial America.

Original and well told, this account argues that the greatest patriotic contribution of America's Midnight Rider was his work in helping the nation develop from a craft to an industrial economy.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

Martello succeeds superbly in using Paul Revere as a lens to view the social, economic, and technological landscape of early America... Revere's adept transitions are matched only by Martello's adept retelling of them. Highly recommended.

Times Literary Supplement
Revere sensed that he was living in a time of unprecedented opportunity, and unlike some contemporaries who returned to small shops, he moved quickly from artisan to manager, from craftsman to industrialist. As Martello demonstrates in this fascinating study, the transition was not easy.

Journal of American History
Engagingly written.

Enterprise and Society
[An] important new study.

— Edward Gray

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
He provides a deft discussion of technological transfer and shows how imitation and innovation were inextricably connected.

— Neil L. York

The New England Journal
[A]finely crafted book that succeeds on several levels...nuanced, and technologically thorough

— James McWilliams

Common-Place - Lawrence A. Peskin
Martello's account of Revere's life is a welcome addition to the literature on American industry and on the founding fathers.

Technology and Culture - Leonard N. Rosenband
Martello's fine study is enriched by his attention to the raw materials, labor practices and customs, capital requirements, and technological dimensions that framed each of Revere's ventures.

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society - Neil L. York
He provides a deft discussion of technological transfer and shows how imitation and innovation were inextricably connected.

Enterprise and Society - Edward Gray
[An] important new study.

The New England Journal - James McWilliams
[A]finely crafted book that succeeds on several levels...nuanced, and technologically thorough

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801897580
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
09/27/2010
Series:
Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology
Edition description:
20
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
1,208,065
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Howard B. Rock

A path-breaking, very fine work of history. Martello spells out a theory of proto-industrialization that I believe will become incorporated into the work of American economic history and fills an important space in our understanding of America's transition to industrialization.

Howard B. Rock, Florida International University

Meet the Author

Robert Martello is an associate professor of the history of science and technology at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.

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