Inventing the U.S. Stove Industry, c.1815-1875: Making and Selling the First Universal Consumer Durable
Durham University - Department of History
March 4, 2009
Business History Review, Vol. 82, No. 4
This article examines the emergence of the American stove industry, detailing the complex interactions among changes in the product, the organization of production, and the methods of selling cast-iron heating and cooking equipment to consumers nationwide, particularly in the antebellum years. This highly competitive industry, composed of hundreds of proprietary firms, became a site of considerable innovation in marketing. Manufacturers integrated forward, controlling the sale and distribution of their goods through networks of small retailers nationwide. The article explains how and why.
Keywords: stoves, consumer durables, distribution networks
JEL Classification: M3, N81, D3, D4
Date posted: March 4, 2009 ; Last revised: January 17, 2015