Chicago Made: Factory Networks in the Industrial Metropolis

Chicago Made: Factory Networks in the Industrial Metropolis

by Robert Lewis

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From the lumberyards and meatpacking factories of the Southwest Side to the industrial suburbs that arose near Lake Calumet at the turn of the twentieth century, manufacturing districts shaped Chicago’s character and laid the groundwork for its transformation into a sprawling metropolis. Approaching Chicago’s story as a reflection of America’s industrial history between the Civil War and World War II, Chicago Made explores not only the well-documented workings of centrally located city factories but also the overlooked suburbanization of manufacturing and its profound effect on the metropolitan landscape.
            Robert Lewis documents how manufacturers, attracted to greenfield sites on the city’s outskirts, began to build factory districts there with the help of an intricate network of railroad owners, real estate developers, financiers, and wholesalers. These immense networks of social ties, organizational memberships, and financial relationships were ultimately more consequential, Lewis demonstrates, than any individual achievement. Beyond simply giving Chicago businesses competitive advantages, they transformed the economic geography of the region. Tracing these transformations across seventy-five years, Chicago Made establishes a broad new foundation for our understanding of urban industrial America. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226477046
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 05/15/2009
Series: Historical Studies of Urban America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 364
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Robert Lewis is associate professor of geography at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Manufacturing Montreal: The Making of an Industrial Landscape.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Introduction: The Metropolitan Production System



1    Chicago, the Mighty City
2    The Suburban Solution
3    Four Factory Districts, 1860–1940
4    The Shifting Geography of Metropolitan Employment:

      Starts, Additions, & Moves



5    The Metropolitan Geography of Firm Linkages, 1872–1901
6    Forging the Calumet District, 1880–1940
7    Chicago’s Planned Industrial Districts: Clearing and the

      Central Manufacturing Districts

8    Networked Space: The Connected Metropolis in the 1920s

9    Manufacturing Production Chains and Wholesaling

10  Local Production Practices and Inter-Firm Linkages:

      Chicago’s Automotive Industry, 1900–1940

Appendix: Bankruptcy Records, 1872–1928

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