Book

Chicago Made

Robert Lewis

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226477015
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226477046 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226477046.001.0001
Chicago Made

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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, this book 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. It 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, the book 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, this book establishes a broad new foundation for our understanding of urban industrial America.

Keywords: Chicago; factories; manufacturing; metropolis; industrial history; economic geography; greenfield sites; factory districts; networks; organizational memberships

Book.  363 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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