Friday, July 31, 2015

SHOT 2015 Program and Registration Available

The 2015 SHOT (Society for the History of Technology) conference will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on October 8-11. Registration is now open, and the preliminary program has been posted. Of particular interest is a Roundtable that asks "What Role Should Technology Play in the History of Capitalism?" The organizers are W. Bernard Carlson and Jonathan Coopersmith; the discussants are Jonathan Coopersmith, Richard John, Stephen Mihm, and Barbara Hahn.
    Other sessions of interest include "Industry-Academic Relations in the Second Industrial Revolution"; "Rewiring Public and Private: Computing for Public Sector and Public Interest"; "Railroad Construction, Labor Regimes, and Commerce in the Portuguese and Colonial Frontier Zones"; "Constructing Foods and Creating Tastes: Histories of Foods in Transnational Perspectives"; and "Ordering Concepts of Information Technologies."
    The conference will also include a graduate student workshop and several special interest group (SIG) workshops. For more information, please consult the SHOT meeting website. Note that the early registration deadline is September 1, 2015.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Conference: “Beyond the New Deal Order”

"Beyond the New Deal Order" will meet at the University of California, Santa Barbara, on September 24-26, 2015, with the goal of re-examining the scholarship in The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980, edited by Gary Gerstle and Steve Fraser and published in 1989. According to the organizers,
Our conference, “Beyond the New Deal Order,” draws upon the new ways of thinking about politics, ideas, economy, gender, race and ethnicity, and the U.S. role in the world that have emerged in recent historical scholarship to interrogate the foundational suppositions put forward by Fraser, Gerstle and their co-authors more than a quarter century ago.  
In addition to Gerstle and Fraser, participants include--among many others--Jennifer Armiger, Eileen Boris, Angus Burgin, Jefferson Cowie, Meg Jacobs, Jennifer Klein, Nelson Lichtenstein, William Novak, Alice O'Connor, Ellen Shermer, David Stebenne, Thomas Sugrue, and Mark Wilson. The conference program is available here.
     The conference is hosted by the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For more details about the meeting, please see the conference website.

Monday, July 27, 2015

World Economic History Congress, 2015: Final Program Now On-Line

The XVIIth World Economic History Congress (WEHC) will take place next week, August 3-7, in Kyoto, Japan. The conference website now contains the complete program, as well as links to abstracts and papers. Readers can consult the full conference booklet or the program overview, which lists session titles, organizers, and times. Full session listings with presenters, as well as the links to abstracts and papers, may be found using the WEHC on-line search system.
    For complete details about the conference, please consult the WEHC website. Note that the next WEHC will be held in 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Books of Interest: Mid-Summer Edition

A list, by no means complete, of books in business and economic history published or forthcoming between May and September 2015:
Edward J. Balleisen, Business Regulation (Edward Elgar, August 2015)
Marco Bertilorenzi, The International Aluminium Cartel: The Business and Politics of a Cooperative Industrial Institution (1886-1978) (Routledge, September 2015)
Howard Bodenhorn, The Color Factor: The Economics of African-American Well-Being in the Nineteenth-Century South (Oxford University Press, June 2015)
Dan Bouk, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (University of Chicago Press, May 2015)
William Boyd, The Slain Wood: Papermaking and Its Environmental Consequences in the American South (Johns Hopkins University Press, September 2015)
Martin Campbell Kelly and Daniel D. Garcia-Swartz, From Mainframes to Smartphones: A History of the International Computer Industry (Harvard University Press, June 2015)
Christy Ford Chapin, Ensuring America's Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System (Cambridge University Press, June 2015)
William J. Collins and Robert Margo, eds., Enterprising America: Businesses, Banks, and Credit Markets in Historical Perspective (University of Chicago Press, September 2015)
Sean Condon, Shays's Rebellion: Authority and Distress in Post-Revolutionary America (Johns Hopkins University Press, May 2015)
Peter Earle, The Earles of Liverpool: A Georgian Merchant Dynasty (Oxford University Press, August 2015)
Ronald P. Formisano, Plutocracy: How Increasing Inequality Destroys the Middle Class and Exploits the Poor (Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2015)
Heather A. Haveman, Magazines and the Making of America: Modernization, Community, and Print Culture, 1741–1860 (Princeton University Press, September 2015)
Philip T. Hoffman, Why Did Europe Conquer the World? (Princeton University Press, June 2015)
Vicki Howard, From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store (University of Pennsylvania Press, May 2015)
Faye M. Kert, Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812 (Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2015)
Paul Lerner, The Consuming Temple: Jews, Department Stores, and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880–1940 (Cornell University Press, May 2015)
Lars Magnusson, The Political Economy of Mercantilism (Routledge, June 2015)
Brian Phillips Murphy, Building the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early

Republic (University of Pennsylvania Press, May 2015)
Jeroen Puttevils, Merchants and Trading in the Sixteenth Century: The Golden Age of Antwerp (Pickering & Chatto, June 2015)
J. Andrew Ross, Joining the Clubs: The Business of the National Hockey League to 1945 (Syracuse University Press, May 2015)

Andy Serwer, et al., American Enterprise: A History of Business in America (Smithsonian Books, July 2015)
Peter A. Shulman, Coal and Empire: The Birth of Energy Security in Industrial America (Johns Hopkins University Press, June 2015)
Germain Sicard, The Origins of Corporations: The Mills of Toulouse in the Middle Ages (Yale University Press, August 2015)
David Todd, Free Trade and Its Enemies in France, 1814-1851 (Cambridge University Press, June 2015)
For cumulative book listings, please see the "Books of Interest" section of the BHC website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Web Resource: Bankruptcy and Insolvency in History

The University of Birmingham Business School has launched a new website on "Re-Doing Business: Bankruptcy and Insolvency in History, Theory, and Policy-Making."
According to the website,
this project offers an alternative approach to the study of insolvency and bankruptcy. The aim is to forge a network of European scholars to analyse these issues with an approach that has three important elements of originality: a long-term view, a comparative perspective, and a focus on practices and enforcement mechanisms rather than simply on formal features of legislation.  
This website is designed to act as an information hub for anybody interested in these issues, by providing up-dated links and original material on four areas: the "doing business" report; legislative changes in various countries; the economic literature on insolvency and bankruptcy; and the history of bankruptcy and insolvency. The project is a combined effort by scholars at the University of Birmingham, the Bulgarian Academy of Science, the Università degli Studi di Siena, and the Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre - La Défense, with support from the Leverhulme Trust.
    For further information regarding this research project,  please contact Paolo Di Martino.

Monday, July 20, 2015


The 2016 Asia Pacific Economic and Business History (APEBH) Conference will be held in Adelaide, Australia, on February 11-13; it will be hosted by the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide. The theme of the meeting is "Wine, Wheat and Copper? Resource booms and busts: agriculture, mining and the wider economy in historical and comparative perspective." According to the call for papers:
[The] varying importance of agriculture and mining, their booms and busts, is not only a contemporary phenomenon but has been one of the main aspects of Australia’s economic and industrial development for the last two centuries. . . . Resource booms and busts also shaped international trading arrangements and exchange rate effects caused by rapid development in one sector influenced the other and the economy as a whole. The impact of the recent mining-related appreciation and depreciation of the Australian dollar on agricultural production illustrates this mechanism. Other examples for such interconnected effects are the development of regulations about land ownership and water use, urbanization processes and the resulting demand for food, the rise of heavy industry and the respective impact on labour markets.
    For a fuller description and submission information, please consult the complete call for papers. The deadline for all proposals is November 15, 2015. To follow information about the APEBH meeting, please check the conference website.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Resources at the SHEAR Annual Meeting

"Mouth of the Arkansas," c. 1845-6-7, Henry Lewis
The annual meeting of SHEAR (the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic) got under way yesterday in Raleigh, North Carolina. The conference website features a section on "Panel Resources," where panelists can post information relevant to their presentations. One of the sessions of interest (see here for a more detailed list) is "Capital, Space, and Culture: New Approaches to the Political Economy of the Early Republic"; presenters in that session have posted short versions of their papers in the resource section. Members of another panel, "Teaching Capitalism in Early America," have created a "resource archive" website for their session that includes syllabi and class assignments.
    The full meeting schedule can be found on the conference website.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

CHORD Conference Program and Abstracts Posted

The 2015 CHORD (Centre for the History of Retail and Distribution) conference will be held at the University of Wolverhampton on September 10. The program and abstracts for the meeting have now been posted on the CHORD website.
    On-line registration is also available, as well as lodging and meeting details. For further information, please e-mail: Laura Ugolini at or Karin Dannehl at

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Collection on Business Regulation Published

Readers interested in the history of business regulation may want to make their libraries aware of the three-volume collection out next month from Edward Elgar Publishing: Business Regulation is edited by Edward J. Balleisen of Duke University. Priced for the institutional market, the set
conveys leading scholarly ideas on modern regulatory governance since 1871. The first two volumes lay out the rationales for and critiques of technocratic governance in industrialized societies. They trace the evolution of regulatory institutions, highlighting the most recent era of globalization, deregulation, privatization and regulatory innovation. The third volume presents influential frameworks for understanding regulatory culture in action, assessing the impacts of regulatory policies, and explaining regulatory change.
The table of contents is available on the Edward Elgar site.
    In addition to his position in the History Department at Duke, Balleisen is vice provost for Interdisciplinary Studies there and is the new director of the BHC's Doctoral Colloquium. He is also the director of the Rethinking Regulation Project, sponsored by Duke's Kenan Institute for Ethics, where he is a senior fellow. This project brings together faculty and graduate students from across the university who are interested in regulatory policy and strategies of regulatory governance.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Recent Prize Awards in Business and Economic History

The Editorial Advisory Board of the Business History Review has announced that the winner of the 2014 Henrietta Larson Article Award is Mary O’Sullivan of the University of Geneva for “A Fine Failure: Relationship Lending, Moses Taylor, and the Joliet Iron & Steel Company, 1869–1888” (BHR, Winter 2014).

The Economic and Business History Society's James Soltow Award for Best Paper in Essays in Economic & Business History for 2015 has gone to Janice Traflet and William R. Gruver, both of Bucknell University, for “The Quixotic Quest for Fairness: The SEC’s Role in the Rise of High Frequency Trading.”

The recipient of the European Business History Association Prize for the best paper presented at their annual meeting was Barbara Hahn of Texas Tech University and the University of Leeds for her paper, “Failures and Fairytales: Innovative Losers of the Industrial Revolution.”
     Honorable mentions were awarded to Jacob Halvas Bjerre, Copenhagen Business School, for “Racial Trade Barriers? Nazi Germany’s International Aryanization Policies: The Danish Case,” and Ewan Gibbs of the University of Glasgow for “The Moral Economy of the Scottish Coalfields: Managing Deindustrialization under Nationalization, c. 1947-1983.”

David Singerman of Rutgers University was awarded the Coleman Prize of the Association of Business Historians for his dissertation, “Inventing Purity in the Atlantic Sugar World, 1860-1930” (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014). Singerman also won the BHC's Krooss Dissertation Prize.

The co-recipients of this year's Rovensky Prize are Gerardo Con Díaz of Yale University, for work on his dissertation “Intangible Inventions: A History of Software Patenting in the United States, 1945-1985,” and Rudi Batzell of Harvard University, to support work on “The Global Reconstruction Capitalism: Class, Corporations and the Rise of Welfare States, 1870-1930.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

“American Enterprise” Exhibit Opens at NMAH

Detail, "View on the Erie Canal," by John William Hull, 1829
The previously announced "American Enterprise" exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History (NMAH) opened on July 1. Primarily a physical exhibition, it also has a web component featuring specific essays and numerous illustrations. Moving from the "Merchant Era," to the "Corporate Era," to the "Consumer Era," to the "Global Era," the exhibition "chronicles the tumultuous interaction of capitalism and democracy that resulted in the continual remaking of American business—and American life." Readers interested in the background of the exhibition can read a discussion with the exhibition project director David Allison and also see the press release.
   The exhibition website also features a Flickr section of large-scale photographs of the physical exhibition. The curators have published an accompanying book, American Enterprise, from Smithsonian Books (with an excerpt available).

Monday, July 6, 2015

Business History Fellowships Available at Harvard Business School

The Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellowship in Business History
To be awarded for twelve months’ residence, study, and research at Harvard Business School. The fellowship is open to scholars who, within the last ten years, have received a Ph.D. in history, economics, or a related discipline. The fellowship has two purposes: The first is to enable scholars to engage in research that will benefit from the resources of Harvard Business School and the larger Boston scholarly community. A travel fund and a book fund will be provided. The second is to provide an opportunity for the fellow to participate in the activities of Harvard Business School. The fellow is required to research and write a case, under the direction of a senior faculty member, to be used in one of the business history courses.

The fellowship will be awarded and all applicants notified by mid-January. Salary is competitive. The fellowship will begin July 1.

Applicants should submit a CV, undergraduate transcript and graduate-school record, thesis abstract, and writing sample (such as an article or a book chapter). Applicants should also state the topics, objectives, and design for the specific research to be undertaken. Finally, applicants should indicate the names of three people who will write references on their behalf. The three letters of recommendation are to be submitted by the writers directly by October 15 of the calendar year preceding that in which the fellowship is to be used. It is the responsibility of the applicant to solicit these letters. Applications should be received no later than October 15 and submitted online to:

Please direct recommenders to visit:

Thomas K. McCraw Fellowship
The Thomas K. McCraw Fellowship seeks applicants who are established scholars from around the world interested in the business and economics history of the United States. Recipient receives a $7,000 stipend for travel and living expenses and is expected to be in residence at Harvard Business School a minimum of two months. Main activities include researching in Baker Library archives or other Boston-area libraries, presenting research at a seminar, and interacting with HBS faculty. Please send a cover letter, CV, a two- to three-page research proposal, and two letters of reference to Walter A. Friedman, Connell 301A, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 02163, U.S.A. —OR— via email to Letters of reference must be sent directly to the above address by the recommenders. Application materials and letters of reference are due by October 1 of the year preceding the year the Fellowship is to be used. [Note new deadline.]

The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Scholar in Business History Program
The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Scholar in Business History Program seeks applicants who are established scholars in business history based outside the United States. Recipient receives a $7000 stipend and is required to stay at least two months but not more than six months at Harvard Business School. Main activities include interacting with faculty and researchers, presenting work at research seminars, and researching business history. Please send a cover letter that includes when you would like to be in residence, a CV, a two- to three-page research proposal, and two letters of reference to Walter A. Friedman, Connell 301A, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 02163, U.S.A. —OR— via e-mail to Letters of reference must be sent directly to the above address by the recommenders. Application materials and letters of reference are due by October 15 of the year preceding the year the Fellowship is to be used. [Note new deadline.]
The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. Travel Fellowships
The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. Travel Fellowships facilitate library and archival research in business or economic history. Grants range from $1000 to $3000. Applicants must be 1) Harvard University graduate students in history, economics, or business administration, research requires travel to distant archives or repositories; 2) graduate students or nontenured faculty in those fields from other Universities—US and abroad—research requires travel to Baker Library and other local archives; or 3) Harvard College undergraduates writing senior theses in these fields, research requires travel away from Cambridge. Please send a CV, a 1-2 page summary of past academic research, a 2-3 page research proposal—include amount of grant required, and one letter of reference to Walter A. Friedman, Connell 301A, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 02163. E-mail: by November 2 of the year preceding the year the Fellowship is to be used. Recommender is to send letter of reference directly to the above address.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For more information on all these fellowships, please visit the HBS Fellowships website:

Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Over the Counter: Issue No. 17

Geoffrey Jones of Harvard Business School published an article in "Live Mint" titled "History has its place in business: Learning from the past about the consequences of decisions should surely be part of every manager’s toolkit."

In the United States recently there has been a movement, "Women on 20s," to replace Andrew Jackson (who, among other things, vetoed the rechartering of the Second Bank of the US) on the $20 bill with a woman. But the Treasury announced that it would replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, causing dismay among many, including those who began the campaign. See Brian Phillips Murphy's reaction on this MSNBC video. Former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke also weighed in.

The program for last month's Yale conference. "Grassroots Modernities: Nature, Agriculture, and Improvement in the Atlantic World," is available online. Also at Yale: most papers from the Yale Economic History Workshop, 2001-2011, are archived and freely available.

Another program of interest: "France and Its Empire in the Global Economy, 1815-1939," held June 9 at the University of Cambridge and sponsored by the Centre for History and Economics.

Episode 19 of the podcast "Historically Thinking" features Vicki Howard, discussing her new book, From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store (University of Pennsylvania Press).

Stephen Mihm of the University of Georgia discusses the U.S. reluctance to adopt the metric system in The Atlantic online.

June 18, 2015, was the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Drew Keeling reflects on "Business History: Dividends of Waterloo" for the Wharton Magazine.

The July 2015 issue of the Journal of Global History is a special number on "Communicating Global Capitalism," edited by Heidi Tworek and Simone M. Müller.

From the Washington Post: animated gifs showing the evolution of some famous corporate logos.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

BHC Prize Recipients Announced

At the Business History Conference Annual Meeting on June 24-28, 2015, in Miami, Florida, officers announced the following recipients of BHC prizes and grants:

Lifetime Achievement Award
The award is bestowed every two years to a scholar who has contributed significantly to the work of the Business History Conference and to scholarship in business history.
2015 recipient: Juliet E. K. Walker, University of Texas at Austin 
Hagley Prize 
The prize is awarded jointly by the Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference to the best book in business history (broadly defined) written in English and published during the two years prior to the award.
2015 recipient: Walter Friedman, Fortune Tellers: The Story of America's First Economic Forecasters (Princeton University Press, 2013). Affiliation: Harvard Business School 
Ralph Gomory Prize 
This prize, made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, recognizes historical work on the effects of business enterprises on the economic conditions of the countries in which they operate. Prizes are awarded to a book or books published during the two years prior to the award.
2015 recipients: Emily Erikson, Between Monopoly and Free Trade: The English East India Company, 1600-1757 (Princeton University Press, 2014). Affiliation: Yale University
Kathryn Steen, The American Synthetic Organic Chemicals Industry: War and Politics 1910-1930 (University of North Carolina Press, 2014). Affiliation: Drexel University
Herman E. Krooss Prize 
The prize recognizes the best dissertation in business history written in English and completed in the three calendar years immediately prior to the annual meeting.
2015 recipient: David Singerman, "Inventing Purity in the Atlantic Sugar World, 1860-1930" (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014). Affiliation: Rutgers University
Philip Scranton Best Article Prize 
This prize recognizes the author or authors of an article published in Enterprise & Society judged to be the best of those that have appeared in the volume previous to the year of the BHC annual meeting. It is named in recognition of Philip Scranton’s deep contributions to Enterprise & Society and is generously funded by Cambridge University Press.
2015 recipients: Marc Flandreau and Gabriel Geisler Mesevage, “The untold history of transparency: mercantile agencies, the law, and the lawyers (1851-1916)” Enterprise & Society 15: 2 (June 2014), 213-51. Affiliation (both): Institut De Hautes Études Internationales Et Du Développement, Geneva. 
Mira Wilkins Prize
This prize, established in recognition of the path-breaking scholarship of Mira Wilkins, is awarded to the author of the best Enterprise & Society article pertaining to international and comparative business history published the volume previous to the year of the BHC annual meeting.
2015 recipient: Paula de la Cruz Fernández, “Marketing the Hearth: Ornamental Embroidery and the Building of the Multinational Singer Sewing Machine Company,” Enterprise and Society 15, 3 (September 2014), 442-71. Affiliation: Florida International University 
K. Austin Kerr Prize 
The prize recognizes the best first paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference by a new scholar (doctoral student or those within three years of receiving their Ph.D). It honors K. Austin Kerr, longtime professor of history at the Ohio State University and former president of the Business History Conference.
2015 recipients: Paige Glotzer, “National Standards, Local Sales: The Professional Culture of Real Estate and the Creation of an Exclusionary Housing Market.” Affiliation: Johns Hopkins University
Joseph Slaughter, “Christian Business Enterprise Reform: The Pioneer Line, 1828-1831.” Affiliation: University of Maryland, College Park 
The Halloran Prize in the History of Corporate Responsibility 
The prize recognizes a paper presented at the BHC annual meeting that makes a significant contribution to the history of corporate responsibility. It is funded by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) at the University of St.Thomas Opus College of Business in honor of Harry R. Halloran, Jr.
2015 recipient: Owen James Hyman, “Why a West Coast Paper Company Went South: Corporate Expansion and Civil Rights in the Deep South.” Affiliation: Mississippi State University 
For more information about these prizes, go to or contact BHC secretary-treasurer Roger Horowitz,