Inventing the U.S. Stove Industry, c.1815-1875: Making and Selling the First Universal Consumer Durable
Posted: 4 Mar 2009 Last revised: 17 Jan 2015
Date Written: March 4, 2009
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
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation