But in Scale and Scope the essential thesis is that between the 1850s and the 1880s the transportation and communications networks established the technological and organizational base for the exploitation f economies f scale and scope in the processes f production and distribution. (p. 58)
The entrepreneurial response in distribution preceded that in production because innovation in distribution was primarily organizational, not technological. The reasons for the decline f commission agents and the growth f full line, full service wholesalers and mass retailers is not entirely clear from Chandler's analysis. Many f the names f the mass retailers that emerged after the Civil War are still familiar today and include Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Strawbridge & Clothier, John Wanamaker, Marshall Field, and Emporium. Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck came to dominate the rural market, relying heavily on mail-order operations. These houses built administrative systems to handle more transactions in a day than most traditional merchants could handle in a lifetime.
The laying down f railroad and telegraph systems precipitated a wave f industrial innovation in Western Europe and the United States far more wide ranging than that which had occurred in Britain at the end f the eighteenth century. ...Show more