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The Merchant, the Manufacturer, and the Factory Manager: The Case of Samuel Slater

Barbara M. Tucker
The Business History Review
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Autumn, 1981), pp. 297-313
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3114126
Page Count: 19
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The Merchant, the Manufacturer, and the Factory Manager: The Case of Samuel Slater
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Abstract

Early textile enterprises faced no trends with greater reluctance than the integration of operations within a single factory and, considerably later, the assignment of formerly family-dominated, entrepreneurial functions to hired factory agents. Samuel Slater, the classic pioneer of factory production of textile yarns, was slow to accept these trends, and only the obvious inability of either him or his family to cope with a rapidly growing and changing industry in the 1820s and 1830s forced him to integrate spinning, weaving, and finishing operations and to turn over broad responsiblity in individual factories to what is perhaps the earliest example of the professional manager.

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