By Robert Lewis
From the lumberyards and meatpacking factories of the Southwest part to the economic suburbs that arose close to Lake Calumet on the flip of the 20th century, production districts formed Chicago’s personality and laid the foundation for its transformation right into a sprawling city. drawing close Chicago’s tale as a mirrored image of America’s commercial heritage among the Civil warfare and global battle II, Chicago Made explores not just the well-documented workings of centrally situated urban factories but in addition the neglected suburbanization of producing and its profound influence at the metropolitan landscape. Robert Lewis records how brands, drawn to greenfield websites at the city’s outskirts, started to construct manufacturing facility districts there with assistance from an elaborate community of railroad vendors, genuine property builders, financiers, and wholesalers. those gigantic networks of social ties, organizational memberships, and monetary relationships have been eventually extra consequential, Lewis demonstrates, than anyone success. past easily giving Chicago companies aggressive merits, they remodeled the commercial geography of the sector. Tracing those differences throughout seventy-five years, Chicago Made establishes a vast new origin for our knowing of city business America.
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Extra info for Chicago Made: Factory Networks in the Industrial Metropolis (Historical Studies of Urban America)
The result was that metropolitan Chicago was highly segregated. While the city’s wealthy and professionals resided in the city’s Gold Coast, Hyde Park, and Prairie Avenue districts as well as the exclusive and expensive suburbs of Oak Park and Kenilworth, the vast majority were not so fortunate. Vast territories of working-class districts stretched through the city and the suburbs, typically abutting railroad lines, canals, rivers, and factories. These social class districts were internally diﬀerentiated.
Another 15 employed more than 4,000 workers each. These large ﬁrms represented the core industries that developed in Chicago before the Great Depression (table 2). By 1880 many of the core sectors that would dominate Chicago for several generations were already in place. Fueled by more than 8,400 workers in men’s clothing, the garment trade was the largest. This was followed by metalworking (primary metal, fabricated metal, machinery), meatpacking, woodworking (furniture and lumber), printing, and leather.
Chicago’s social hierarchy manifested itself through a division of labor that forced immigrants and workers to reside in a graduated set of neighborhoods sorted by income, ethnicity, and race. The very worst, typically populated by the newest round of immigrants, were located in the older factory districts spread out along the railroad and water corridors. Subject to the surveys and reports of Chicago’s social reformers including Sophonisba Breckinridge, Edith Abbott, and Robert Hunter, working-class districts such as the West Side, Pilsen, and Packingtown contained wretched housing, terrible environmental conditions, inadequate services, poor working conditions, and low wages.
Chicago Made: Factory Networks in the Industrial Metropolis (Historical Studies of Urban America) by Robert Lewis