2007 CHORD and ABH Conference

 

BUSINESS LINKS:

Trade, Distribution and Networks

29 and 30 June 2007

The University of Wolverhampton

Provisional Programme

Abstracts

New: Information for delegates

Registration form

Fees and Information

Bursary form

CHORD New Research Prize finalists

Colman prize session

 

 

The conference will be hosted jointly by the:

Association of Business Historians

and

The Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution

****

The conference is supported by:
The Economic History Society

(click on logo for further information)

and

The Royal Historical Society

(click on logo for further information)

 

PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME

Friday 29 June

9.30 - 11.00 Registration and coffee.

9.30 - 11.00 Exhibition Area. ABH Council meeting
 
11.00 - 12.30 Welcome, CHORD New Research prize finalists announcement and Plenary Session

Chair: John Wilson, University of Central Lancashire and ABH President

Welcome by: Jim Waddington, incoming Director, History and Governance Research Institute, University of Wolverhampton

Roy Church, UEA
'Explaining the Transformation in the Selling of Consumer Goods in Britain and the US Between 1880 and 1930: Structural or Behavioural'?
 

12.30 -13.30 Lunch
 

13.30 - 15.00

Session 1 - Competition and the State

Chair: John Benson, University of Wolverhampton 

- Duncan Philip Connors, University of Glasgow, UK
'The Failure of Government intervention in  British shipbuilding 1964-1973'
Abstract
- Giuseppe M. Longoni, University of Milan and Alberto Rinaldi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
'Industrial Policy and Artisan Firms in Italy. 1945-1971'
Abstract
- Aashish Velkar, London School of Economics, UK
'Competition, Coordination and Standardization: Emergence of the British Standard Wire Gauge c1883'
Abstract


Session 2 - Middlemen

Chair: Christopher Hosgood, University of Lethbridge  

- Andrew Popp, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
'Commercial Travelling in England before 1850'
Abstract
- Jim Quinn, University of Dublin, Ireland and Leigh Sparks, University of Stirling, UK
'The Evolution of British Grocery Wholesaling: 1930–2006'
Abstract
- Gregory Shealy, **
'Reaping Profits from Agricultural Fairs and Congresses: An Alltagsgeschichte of the German Exhibitors of American Harvester Companies'
Abstract


Session 3 - Wartime Commerce and Trade

Chair: Ray Stokes, University of Glasgow

  - Margrit Schulte Beerbühl, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Germany
'Licensed Smuggling during the Napoleonic Wars by Immigrant Merchants'
Abstract
- Sally Sokoloff, University of Northampton, UK

‘How Many Germans Equal a Pig?’  World War One and Retail Food Businesses in Northamptonshire'
Abstract
- Gareth Cole, University of Exeter, UK
'The Private Sector and the Office of Ordnance in the Great Wars with France, 1793-1815'
Abstract


Session 4 - Regulation

Chair: Patrick Wallis, LSE  

- Errietta Bissa, University College London, UK
'Polis and Sitos: Regulating the Grain Trade in Classical Greece'
Abstract
- Mark Casson, University of Reading, UK
'The Regulation of the Victorian Railway System'
Abstract
- Heliana Comin Vargas, São Paulo University, Brazil
'The Evolution of the Retailing and Services Urban Policies: The Case of São Paulo City'
Abstract


Session 5 - Business Literature  

Chair: Ilja Van Damme, University of Antwerp 

- Mitch Larson, Ashland University, US
‘What Are We Selling?’ British Affairs and the British Information Service in New York, late 1950s to early 1960s
Abstract
- Janette Rutterford, Open University, UK
'The Company Prospectus: Marketing Shares on the London Stock Exchange'
Abstract
- Michael Heller, **
'Company Magazines 1878-1935: origins, roles and functions'
Abstract

15.00 - 15.30 Coffee
 

15.30 - 17.00

Session 6 - Railways

Chair: Christopher Beauchamp, New York University  

- Tokunbo A. Ayoola, Tulane University, US
'Colonial Inheritance, Post Colonial Neglect, and Management of Nigerian Railway by RITES of India'
Abstract
- Özen Eyüce, Bahcesehir Üniversity, Turkey
'Ottoman Railways and the Effects on Urban Structure of Izmir'
Abstract
- Stuart Sweeney, Oxford University, UK
'Military Railways in India 1875-1914: Globalization and Guns'
Abstract


Session 7 - Commerce and the Arts

Chair: Andrew Popp, Royal Holloway, University of London  

- Richard Coopey, London School of Economics, UK
'The Business of Art and the Art of Business: The Production of Creativity in the Modern Economy'
Abstract
- Stuart Evans, Central Saint Martins, UK
'A Virtual Guild'
Abstract
- Catherine Harbor, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
'The Birth of the Music Business: Advertising Commercial Concerts in London 1660–1750'
Abstract


Session 8 - Marketing  

Chair: Margaret Ponsonby, University of Wolverhampton 

- Clive Edwards, Loughborough University, UK
'The ‘Scandinavian ideal’ in retailing of design: Two distinct approaches to the marketing of an ideal'
Abstract
- Michelle Jones, University College for the Creative Arts, Rochester, UK
'A Performance of Culture and Commerce: British Fashion Promotion and the Royal Ballet’s American and Canadian Tours (1949-51)'
Abstract
- Ed Petkus Jr,  Ramapo College of New Jersey, US
'The Marketing of Alcoholic Beverages During Prohibition in the United States, 1920-1933: A Value-Chain Analysis'
Abstract


Session 9 - Networks: Business and Communication

Chair: Francesca Carnevali, University of Birmingham  

- C. Downs, Manchester Metropolitan University
'Oznaby, Umbrellas and Hats for the Ladies: Trading with the West Indies during the War of Independence'
Abstract
- Albane Forestier, London School of Economics, UK
'Mercantile networks and the circulation of information: the West Indian trade of Bristol in the 1780s seen through business correspondences'
Abstract
- Jani Saarinen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
'Networks, cartels and innovations in Finland 1945–84'
Abstract


Session 10 - Success and Failure

Chair: Richard Hawkins, University of Wolverhampton

- Steve Koerner, independent scholar, Canada
'The Rise and Fall of the Daimler Motor Company'
Abstract
- Maggie Walsh, University of Nottingham, UK
'From Ironbridge to Teddy Bear and Friends: Aspects of the Twentieth Century British Soft Toy Industry'
Abstract
- Helen Doe, University of Exeter, UK
'Women in Business or Businesswomen? The Challenges for Women in the Maritime Industry, 1780-1880'
Abstract

17.00 - 17.20 Coffee
 

17.20 - 18.30 Colman prize Session

Graeme Acheson : Law, Finance and Liability Regimes: Essays in Scottish and Irish Banking (conferred by Queen's University, Belfast)


Stephen Sambrook : The Optical Munitions Industry in Great Britain 1888 to 1923 (conferred by University of Glasgow)


Stephanie Decker : Building up Goodwill: British business, development and economic nationalism in Ghana and Nigeria, 1945 to 1977' (conferred by University of Liverpool)


Christopher Beauchamp : The Telephone Patents: Intellectual property, business and the law in the United States and Britain, 1876-1900 (conferred by University of Cambridge)

 

19.30 - 20.00 Drinks reception at Novotel Hotel

Prize Announcements: Colman Prize, Business Archives Council Bursary and CHORD New Research Prize

The drinks reception is sponsored by 

publishers of Business History. Click HERE or on the logo for more information

20.00 - .. Conference dinner at Novotel Hotel

 

Saturday 30 June

 

9.00 - 10.30

Session 11 - International Trade

Chair: Stephen Sambrook, University of Glasgow  

- David Humphrey, Royal College of Art, UK
'The Gemstone Trade in Late Medieval Northern Europe'
Abstract
- Nora Jiménez,  El Colegio de Michoacan, Mexico
'Business in mold letter. Book trade networks to New Spain XVI-middle XVIIth centuries'
Abstract
- Peter Maw, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
'American Merchants in London and Manchester: Business Networks in the Anglo-American Textile Trades, 1750-1825'
Abstract


Session 12 - White-collar work

Chair: Judy Faraday, University of Wolverhampton and John Lewis Partnership  

- John Black, University of the West of England, UK
‘Jobs for the Girls!’ The rise of automation and clerical labour in the British Financial Services Industry 1900-1950
Abstract
- John Killick, University of Leeds, UK
'Jobs for the Boys: Office Procedures and Administration in an American 19th century Shipping Line: The Cope Line of Philadelphia - Liverpool Packets, 1820-1880'
Abstract
- Nicole Robertson, University of Nottingham, UK
'Production Without Profit: The Co-operative Movement as an Employer of Labour'
Abstract


Session 13 - Business Networks

Cancelled: apologies!

Please note that:

- Jani Saarinen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
'Networks, cartels and innovations in Finland 1945–84'
Abstract
can now be found in Session 9


Session 14 - Corporate Strategies

Chair: Richard Coopey, University of Aberystwyth  

- David Patmore, Sheffield University, UK
'The Business of Musical Culture: the British Record Industry and its International Influence, 1925-1932'
Abstract
- Tony Corley, University of Reading, UK
'Overcoming Country-Specific Disadvantages in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Beecham to GlaxoSmithKline 1960-2000'
Abstract
- Drew Keeling, University of Zurich, Switzerland
'Atlantic Shipping Company Strategies and Migration between Europe and the United States, 1900-14'
Abstract

 10.30 - 11.00 Coffee
 

11.00 - 12.30

Session - 15 International Enterprise

Chair: Neil Rollings, University of Glasgow  

- Robert Greenhalgh, UEA, UK
'Trade and Business Disruption, Guernsey and the Nazi Occupation'
Abstract
- Mika Suonpää, University of Hull, UK
'British enterprise in Southeast Europe and attitudes to Balkan Slavs as business partners, 1878-1914'
Abstract
- Stephanie Decker, Liverpool University, UK
'The Return of Free-standing Companies - John Holt & co. in Nigeria'
Abstract


Session 16 - Department Stores and Supermarkets

Chair: Maggie Walsh, University of Nottingham  

- Richard Hang, University of Reading, UK
'The Comparison of Retail Evolution of Department Store and Supermarkets in China (1900-2005)'
Abstract
- Gareth Shaw, University of Exeter and Andrew Alexander, University of Surrey, UK
'The Coming of the Supermarket: the Processes and Consequences of Transplanting American ‘Know How’ into Britain'
Abstract
- Peter Scott University of Reading and James Walker, University of Reading, UK
'Sources of competitive advantage in the interwar UK department store sector'
Abstract


Session 17 - Retail Innovation and Innovative Retailing  

Chair: Teresa da Silva Lopes, Queen Mary University of London 

- Ian Mitchell, independent scholar, UK
'Bazaars and Covered Marts: Innovation in Non-food Retailing in the Early Nineteenth Century'
Abstract
- Pernilla Jonsson, Uppsala University and Fredrik Sandgren, Uppsala University, Sweden
'Who dares to innovate? Debates on retail innovation in the Swedish retail trade press 1950-2000'
Abstract
- John Mercer, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
'Selling Suffragism: Campaign Retailing by the Militant Women’s Suffrage Organisations'
Abstract


Session 18 - Consumption and Fashion

Chair: Karin Dannehl, University of Wolverhampton

 - Andrea Davies, University of Leicester and Richard Elliott, University of Bath, UK
'Serving Herself: Evolution of Brand Consciousness and an Empowered Consumer in the UK'
Abstract
-  Ichiro Michishige, Toyo University, Japan
'The Shopkeeper and Consumer Society in Eighteenth Century London'
Abstract
- Jon Stobart, University of Northampton, UK
'In and out of fashion? Advertising novel and second-hand goods in Georgian England'
Abstract

12.30 - 13.30 Lunch and ABH general meeting
 
 

13.30 - 15.00

Session 19 - Opening Up the Archives: New Developments in Preserving and Making Accessible the UK's Business and Industrial Records

Chair: Nancy Cox, University of Wolverhampton  

- Cheryl Bailey, Black Country Archives Service, UK
'Documenting the Workshop of the World: Recognising the Importance of Business Records in the Black Country'
Abstract
- Robert Brown, National Archives, UK
'Developing a National Strategy for Business Archives in England and Wales'
Abstract
- Alex Ritchie, National Archives, UK
'Researching Business History through the National Register of Archives'
Abstract
Caroline Shaw, The Rothschild Archive, UK
'Tracing Networks in the Rothschild Archive'

Abstract


Session - 20 Food and Drink in Brands
Chair: Mark Casson, University of Reading, UK  

- Paul Duguid, University of California Berkeley, US
'A Prehistory of Trademark Law: The French Connection'
Abstract
- Peter Miskell, University of Reading, UK
'Uniliver and its Brands Since the 1950s: Competitive Threats and Strategic Response'
Abstract
- Teresa da Silva Lopes, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
'Brand Strategies in Multinational Food and Drink'
Abstract


Session 21 - The Challenge of Competition: Freight Transport in Britain During the Interwar Period
Chair: Terry Gourvish, London School of Economics, UK  

- Roy Edwards, University of Southampton, UK
'Technological Change and the Transition from Rail to Road: An Opportunity Lost, c. 1920-30'
Abstract
- Colin Divall, University of York, UK
'Building Networks: The London and North Eastern Railway's Response to Road Distribution, 1923-39'
Abstract
- Mike Anson, Bank of England, UK
'By Land, Sea and Air: The Grand Union CanalCompany, 1929-47'
Abstract


Session 22 - Management and Innovation

Chair: Lisa Jack, University of Essex  

- Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo, University of Leicester and Mark Billings, Nottingham University, UK
'Strategic Change, Branching, the Computer and Management Accounting in post-war British Building Societies'
Abstract
- Paolo Di Martino, University of Manchester, and Michelangelo Vasta, University of Siena, Italy
‘Creative destruction’ or ‘destructive creativity’? Italian Firms’ Approach to Industrial Failure and Surviving Strategies, 1920s-1950s
Abstract
- Ian Ormerod, independent scholar, UK
'Shops and Cash Registers: Mechanised Accounting before the Computer'
Abstract

15.00 - 15.30 Coffee
 

15.30 - 17.00

Session 23 - Corporate Finance and Financial Management  

- Mark Billings, Nottingham University, UK
'Corporate Treasury in International Business History'
Abstract
- John Singleton, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
'The Direction of Central Banks in the Twentieth Century: What, if anything, did central bankers have in common'?
Abstract
- Howard Cox, University of Worcester, UK
'International Capital Movements and the Treasury Embargo of 1931: The case of the Boots Share Deal'
Abstract


Session  24 - Theoretical Approaches  

Chair: Christopher McKenna, University of Oxford

- John F. Wilson, University of Central Lancashire and Andrew Thomson, Open University, UK
'A Framework for Analyzing the Development of Management: a Comparative Perspective Using Key Drivers, c 1950'
Abstract
- Steven Toms, University of York and David Higgins, University of York
'The Determinants of Competitive Advantage: British Evidence on Corporate Success, 1945-1984'
Abstract
- John Quail, University of York, UK
'Marketing and the Integration of the Firm: Discussions by Writers on Management in the US and UK in the Interwar Years'
Abstract


Session 25 - Shipping

Chair: tba  

- Stephen Salmon, Libraries and Archives Canada
‘Lying … Partly Submerged’: Corporate Governance and Insider Networks at Canada Steamship Lines, 1913-1926
Abstract
- David Williams, University of Leicester and John Armstrong, Thames Valley University, UK
'A New and Modern Business: Steam Shipping, 1812-1840'
Abstract
- Werner Scheltjens, University of Groningen, Netherlands
'The Diverse Patterns of Shipping and Trade: The Case of the Dutch Arkhangel’sk Trade in the First Decades of the 18th Century'
Abstract


 
 
 
ABSTRACTS

Mike Anson, Bank of England, UK
'By Land, Sea and Air: The Grand Union Canal Company, 1929-47'
E-mail: michael.anson@bankofengland.co.uk

Histories of transport have largely viewed the carriage of freight on Britain’s canals as an irrelevance once the railway network had been developed.  The story portrayed is one of slow and inevitable decline until the system was transformed into a now valued leisure amenity at the end of the twentieth century.  Arguably, this process has not been fully understood.  Characteristically, canals were under the control of railway companies who deliberately allowed decay to set in.  Furthermore, geography militated against the development of inland waterway transport on a similar scale to that seen in continental Europe.  Freight tonnage carried by canal not only declined in absolute terms, but in comparison with other modes it was minuscule.  Yet, in some places the railways’ canal operations remained important.  In any case, not all canals were railway-owned, and nor was disinvestment by any means universal.  Behind the aggregate figures, decline was not continuous, and was not dispersed equally across the whole system.  In certain regions, along particular flows, for certain traffics, canal carrying remained profitable and of some importance, and there was investment to enhance capacity. The paper considers the story of the Grand Union Canal Company (GUCC) which was established in 1929.  In responding to railway and road competition, the GUCC adopted three main strategies.  First, by the amalgamation of a number of separate canal companies it created a trunk network of over 300 miles of waterways between London and the Midlands.  This included the GUCC’s own docks on the river Thames at Brentford and Limehouse.  Second, the company embarked upon a £900,000 modernisation along the route.  Bigger locks and a deeper channel would allow the passage of vessels carrying in excess of 60 tons, three times the existing capacity limit.  Unfortunately, this scheme was only partly realised.    Finally, the GUCC diversified its operations through 10 subsidiary companies.  These encompassed canal carrying, shipping, road transport, warehousing, and stevedoring. There was much opposition to these activities from the GUCC’s competitors in other transport modes.  After protests from the railway companies about imported iron and steel being carried from London to Birmingham by canal, the GUCC withdrew from the Railway-Canal Conference. Shipping companies also threatened legal action against the GUCC.  However, in 1943, the company successfully obtained an Act of Parliament which allowed it to take a limited interest in land, sea, and even air transport.  There was little opportunity to pursue these opportunities further, because the GUCC and its subsidiaries were nationalised and placed under the control of the British Transport Commission in 1948. The case reveals that by the time of nationalisation, the GUCC had made significant progress towards creating a viable and integrated transport holding company.  It was based on targeting specific markets, traffics and routes.  Moreover this was built around a supposedly outdated transport mode with little future.  Although only small in terms of total freight moved and modal share, for the linear and niche markets that it served, the GUCC’s operations were significant: a point that is still relevant in current debates about freight on inland waterways. 

Tokunbo A. Ayoola, Tulane University, US
'Colonial Inheritance, Post Colonial Neglect, and Management of Nigerian Railway by RITES of India'
E-mail: ayoola@tulane.edu

The construction, development, and management of the Nigerian Railway (NR) network from 1898 to 1960 were undertaken by both the British imperial and Nigerian colonial governments. Developed essentially to transport of agricultural commodities and mineral resources from the hinterland to the coast, its infrastructure was very basic. As a result, after independence in 1960 when the new political leaders sought to develop the economy of the country for the benefit of the generality of Nigerians, they had to contend with an archaic railway infrastructure.  But rather than modernise this important colonial legacy, they concentrated more attention and resources on road transport development. Coupled with this was the mismanagement of the NR itself which adversely affected its fortune. Such were NR’s crises in the late 1970s that the Nigerian government had to invite the RITES of Indian to manage it.
The paper therefore seeks to examine the interrelated factors of colonialism, post colonialism and the management of rail transportation in Nigeria up until the late 1980s.

Cheryl Bailey, Black Country Archives Service, UK
'Documenting the Workshop of the World: Recognising the Importance of Business Records in the Black Country'
E-mail: cheryl.bailey@dial.pipex.com

Business collections form one of the most valuable, yet under-used sources of primary material held by local authority archive services.  Family history researchers tend not to utilise this type of material, while those actively seeking to use business records often find their research hindered by the lack of listed material.  Through partnership working, the Black Country archive services (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) have embarked on an innovative project to improve access to, and encourage the use of, their archive collections, and in particular their holdings of company records. One of the strengths of the Black Country archives is their holdings of business collections.  It was said in the 1860s that ‘the Black Country…cannot be matched, for vast and varied production, by any other space of equal radius on the surface of the globe’.  The history of the Black Country is reflected in the rise of its industries from the late eighteenth century, and the subsequent industrialisation and urbanisation that took place in the nineteenth century.  British manufactured goods dominated world trade during the nineteenth century earning Britain the title ‘Workshop of the World’.  The Black Country was a key player in Britain’s industrial development and products manufactured locally were shipped across the empire and round the globe.  The collections housed locally, which reflect this diversity of industrial enterprise, describe how the region developed during the nineteenth century, and why the area of South Staffordshire and North Worcestershire situated to the west of Birmingham came to be known as the Black Country. The ‘Documenting the Workshop of the World’ project is a three-year initiative designed to promote access to business and industrial records through cataloguing, digitisation and outreach.  The aims of the project can be summarised within the context of the Black Country’s wider objectives for archive development and promotion.  A range of business records are being catalogued to provide detailed guides to hitherto unsorted collections.  These catalogues are being made available online to allow researchers to investigate and understand the region’s industrial heritage.  The project is also undertaking the digitisation of historical images.  The cataloguing and digitisation form the basis of the joint Black Country website which brings together the catalogues of the four archive services.  This allows users to perform seamless searches across several databases from one point of entry.  To consolidate this work, the project will unlock the educational value of the archives through the development of an outreach programme aimed at encouraging local and national participation in the project and more broadly the region’s heritage.

Sarah Baker, University of East London, UK
'The ‘prosumer’: Retro Style and Informal Retailing Networks'
E-mail: u0415641@uel.ac.uk

The term ‘prosumer’ has been in existence for more than twenty-five years. Alvin Toffler (1980) coined the term to describe the blurred roles of the producer and the consumer. He argued that businesses needed to employ the strategies of mass customisation to make their goods stand out in the market place, and that computers would lead to greater consumer choice. In more recent times new consumer groups and activists have adopted this term to mean a non-corporate or DIY approach to consumption. This DIY approach has also been theorised as ‘craft consumption’ and used to refer to consumers who personalise and customise the objects that they buy (Campbell, 2005). 
This paper addresses the concept and definition of the ‘prosumer’ in relation to the development of the consumption and production of retro style since the 1960s. It will document the history of retro retailing, which has often been linked to informal retailing networks such as jumble sales and car-boot sales, in which individuals or small groups are able to become producers (Gregson and Crewe, 2003; McRobbie, 1989). It will bring the discussion up to date with a detailed analysis of the impact of ebay on the knowledge and practices of the consumption and production of retro style.  It will explore how the practices of buying and selling on ebay may increase consumers’ expertise in marketing their own objects, tastes and identities. 
The paper will argue that although the concept of the ‘prosumer’ is useful, as it sums up the role of those involved in retro style as both producers and consumers, previous theorisations of the term, referred to above, are problematic. These theorisations present the development of the ‘prosumer’ unilaterally, either dominated by the power of the producer and new technologies, or as driven by consumer agency. This paper will offer a more nuanced account of the ‘prosumer’ in the context of retro style.

Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo, University of Leicester and Mark Billings, Nottingham University, UK
'Strategic Change, Branching, the Computer and Management Accounting in post-war British Building Societies'
E-mail: bbl3@le.ac.uk

Building societies have played a significant role as providers of retail financial services in Britain.  After World War Two they enjoyed significant expansion and the industry became much more concentrated as the larger societies grew both organically and by merger. In the immediate post-war decades many building societies replaced agency agreements with more extensive branch networks as their main contact with retail depositors and mortgage recipients.  These developments took place against a background of capital constraints and changes in regulation, the nature of the housing market, technology, and managerial practice. In this paper we examine the changes in management practice that took place as the importance of the retail branch grew and branch networks expanded, with a focus on the 1950s to mid-1970s.  Of particular interest are the roles of the computer and enhanced management accounting in facilitating the shift from the previously fragmented industry structure, an organizational change which took place much later than similar changes in the commercial banks, which also had a significant presence in the market for retail financial services, and industrial firms. While the changes discussed above and their impact on the financial services market have been recognised in the literature, the significance of computerization and its impact on management accounting in the sector have not.  The paper draws on contemporary professional books, manuals and journals and new archival evidence from selected building societies and their trade association.

Mark Billings, Nottingham University, UK
'Corporate Treasury in International Business History'
E-mail: Mark.Billings@nottingham.ac.uk

This paper explores a hitherto largely neglected area of business history: the corporate treasury.  The corporate treasury function is often considered a specialized aspect of the finance function and has received little or no explicit attention in most business or corporate histories.  The paper argues that this neglect is undeserved and that corporate treasury has played an important role in international business history. Certain aspects of the corporate treasurer’s role such as the management of cash and surplus funds (i.e. the management of working capital) have always existed in business.  But the treasury function is wider than this: treasurers have had, and continue to have, a major impact on their companies in areas such as making and implementing financial policy and financial risk management.  The significance of the corporate treasury function and the treasurer is evidenced by the fact that corporate treasurers now have their own professional bodies in practically all developed countries and many emerging economies, although these bodies vary greatly in their size, scope and functions. Corporate treasury in multinational enterprises has helped business to transcend national boundaries and acted as a means of diffusing business practices and financial and accounting techniques across borders.  In addition, the development of the treasury function can be considered an aspect of the ‘managerial revolution’ and treasurers as individuals can be seen as part of the ‘managerial elite’. The paper considers how and why treasury has evolved as a discipline distinct from other aspects of the financial function in companies and seeks to place its development in the context of the changing business environment.  Broadly the paper argues that the rise of the professional corporate treasurer can be attributed to a number of factors: the wider professionalization of management; change and innovation in financial markets; the contribution of finance theory to the development of the practice of treasury; and the internationalization of business.  These factors impacted at different times in different countries.  In Europe, floating currencies and volatile interest rates in the 1970s seem to have been a major stimulus to the development of treasury, while treasury, in common with other aspects of the ‘managerial revolution’, had developed earlier in the USA. The paper draws on a range of primary and secondary sources including business and corporate histories, corporate archives and the archives of the UK professional treasury body, The Association of Corporate Treasurers.

Errietta Bissa, University College London, UK
'Polis and Sitos: Regulating the Grain Trade in Classical Greece'
E-mail: erriettabissa@hotmail.com

Grain was the main staple food of the ancient Greeks.  Many city-states, mainly in mainland Greece, the Aegean and Asia Minor, needed to import sufficient grain to support part of their population.  Conversely, many city-states and kingdoms on the fringes of the Greek World numbered grain among their most important exports. The paper explores the role of the state in regulating the trade in grain in the classical period (480-323 BC).  Modern scholarship for the last half-century has supported the view that the Greek city-state did not intervene in trade or regulate the trade in commodities.  Literary and epigraphical evidence, however, reveal a different picture, where the state intervenes forcefully through legislation and incentives in the grain trade. Starting from Athens with its extensive legislation insuring the import of grain, I investigate parallel policies in Klazomenai, Teos and Mytilene as well the export policies of the Bosporan Kingdom in the Crimea.  Athenian legislation on the import of grain limited local traders and enforced specific parameters on commercial investments.  Teos pursued a similar system of intervention, although less developed due to its smaller size and lesser power on the naval routes in the Aegean.  Klazomenai and Mytilene, on the other hand, targeted the exporters in efforts to gain concessions and a steady supply.  The Bosporan Kings, on the part of the exporters, provided incentives and lowered export taxes to specific importers in an effort to increase the marketability of Pontic grain against its Egyptian competitor. 
Investigating the different policies employed by the Greek city-states and kingdoms to regulate the trade in grain provides a unique insight into the ancient Greek world of commerce and the role of the state in it.

John Black, University of the West of England, UK
‘Jobs for the Girls!’ The rise of automation and clerical labour in the British Financial Services Industry 1900-1950
E-mail: jb007e7433@blueyonder.co.uk

This paper explores the historical development of the rise of women workers in the British financial services industry from 1900 to 1950.  Until 1914 the majority of clerical work absorbing women was the state (Wardley, 2006).  In particular the majority of women workers employed by the state was within the General Post Office, (GPO) from the late 1860s and the subsidiary Post Office Savings Bank, (POSB) from 1870 onwards (Zimmeck, 1986; Wardley, 20006, Black, 2006).  By 1900 a number of independent girls schools had introduced secretarial courses into their curriculum in order to prepare leavers with the skills to work in the commercial world, notably the growing financial services industries. Before 1914 very few women found employment or careers in the British financial services industry other than the POSB.  However at the beginning of the 20th century, a number of independent girls school had introduced secretarial courses into their curriculum, in order to prepare leavers not destined for universities, with the skills to work in the commercial world including the growing financial services.  Equally a number of secretarial colleges were opened in major cities in Britain prior to 1914.  This suggests that there was a growing need for clerical labour in the major commercial centres of Britain.  Most of this demand was met through the employment of women. By the beginning of the 20th century the British banking system was mainly locally based and moderately sized.  However the British banking system was dramatically transformed.  Wardley, (2006), suggests there were three major strategic reasons for this, including their evolution into regional then national and even international in scope.  This resulted in the development of uniform procedures including accounting and bookkeeping as a routine or mechanical process of work.  This generated an expansion of employment opportunities for women.  These processes included the introduction of automated systems. The development of these processes affected other allied financial services from the beginning of the 20th century.  Indeed the GPO and POSB began to employ automated and other technological systems from the 19th century onwards (Campbell-Kelly, 1998). This had implications for future developments for the British financial services industry and the employment of women during the 20th century.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the development of automation and technology within the British financial services industry.  This paper attempts to open the debate that the growth of opportunities for women’s work within the financial services industry related to the ‘mechanical’ or routine aspect of clerical work rather than opening up any career opportunities.  In terms of previous research, this paper extends the original research undertaken by Zimmeck (1986), into the mid 20th century.

Robert Brown, National Archives, UK
'Developing a National Strategy for Business Archives in England and Wales'
E-mail: Robert.Brown@nationalarchives.gov.uk

The UK has generated some of the richest collections of business archives in the world.  Many of the historic archives created by older businesses are now in local, national or university repositories; or are indeed still preserved, used, and made available by the firms that created them. Economic and business historians, however, are more aware than most users both of the significance of these archival resources – and also of their limitations.  For too many business archives languish uncatalogued and unavailable in record offices: greater efforts are needed to make this material accessible, and innovative new projects involving digitisation and the creation of union catalogues (such as the Black-country-centred Documenting the Workshop of the World) are beginning to improve the situation. The biggest problem of all is the lack of any reliable procedure in the UK for the preservation of business archives. We lack the kind of central and nationally funded business archives that exists in other European countries.  So when firms go into liquidation the archives and records are very much at risk of destruction.  Furthermore, recent developments in the British economy have significantly increased the threats to the archives of business. Ever-increasing pressure on firms to reduce costs is causing pressure to downsize or outsource records and archives. The increased pace of mergers and acquisitions in the British economy may also be placing the security of business archives under greater threat: new owners may not give the same value to the history and records of the firms which they have acquired. In this context the creation of a national strategy for the use and stewardship of business archives is timely.  The main elements of this are outlined by Robert Brown, the Business Records Development officer for England and Wales.

Mark Casson, University of Reading, UK
'The Regulation of the Victorian Railway System'
E-mail: m.c.casson@reading.ac.uk

The Victorian railway was a major experiment in using private enterprise to construct and operate a national transport network. Government sought to foster competition whilst securing private profit for socially beneficial schemes. Railway companies’ need for joint stock status and powers of compulsory purchase gave government considerable leverage over railway investment decisions. Government powers increased further as passenger safety and workmen’s fares emerged as important issues. In implementing transport policy, analogies between investment in railways and investments in turnpikes and canals proved to be misleading. Vertical integration of track and trains quickly emerged as the preferred method of railway organisation. Critics of government policy argued that this undermined the case for competition between private companies. It was suggested that railway companies would collude and that this would result in high fares and poor service to industry. Recent research suggests that while railways colluded over price, they competed to build new lines. Competitive building of new lines resulted in excess capacity on the system. Excess capacity, in turn, may have allowed inefficient operating practices to persist. Diminishing returns to capital suggest that excess capacity would eventually be checked by declining rates of profit which would discourage further investment. But while such checks occurred, they seem to have been weak. In principle, standard theories of regulation should explain this pattern of behaviour, but in practice they do not. Most theories of regulation are prescriptive; they deduce what an efficient regulator would do, but do not explain how companies will respond to inefficient regulation. This paper sets out a new theory of regulation in network industries which is specifically designed with historical applications in mind. It examines in detail the implications of private competition in a network industry. The basic idea is that each private operator will attempt to build their own self-contained network. As rival networks expand, the network with the highest density of terminals will obtain the greatest market share. But connectivity as well as density is important in a network industry. As density increases, so the number of pairwise connections increases quadratically, so that there are increasing returns to density. These increasing returns stimulate over-capacity. Network size stabilises where the returns from higher density are just offset by the financial burden of excess capacity. If increasing returns are modest this may occur before profits have fallen to a break-even level, but if returns are high then profits will directly check growth. The paper shows that historical evidence supports both the assumption of this model, that private companies strove to build national networks, and the implication of the model, that excess capacity emerged as a result of increasing returns to private network size. It is argued that government policy was in error in condoning the development of rival private networks. Potential gains from competition were dissipated through wasteful excess capacity. Government should have imposed lower freight rates and passenger fares in order to eliminate the profits out of which the excess capacity was financed. Greater financial stringency would have encouraged companies to maximise the potential of their local and regional networks, and to co-operate more fully in the operation of the national network.

Gareth Cole, University of Exeter, UK
'The Private Sector and the Office of Ordnance in the Great Wars with France, 1793-1815'
E-mail: G.J.Cole@exeter.ac.uk

Responsible for providing the arms for both naval and military forces the Office of Ordnance was heavily reliant on the private sector. Without private businesses, contractors and individuals the British war effort would have stalled before it had got going. The army that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo needed to have its arms, artillery and stores supplied for it; the same was true for the fleet at Trafalgar. This paper will focus on naval arms, particularly ordnance and gunpowder. It is a little stated fact that no iron ordnance was produced by Government manufactories and even by 1815 the private sector supplied nearly 50% of the necessary gunpowder. The reliance on the merchant sector is obvious. If we take the example of gunpowder, this reliance was further increased. Of its three constituent parts, charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre only the former was readily available in the British Isles. Of the other two, the majority of sulphur came from Sicily and Southern Italy, whereas Saltpetre supply was reliant on imports from India through the East India Company. When the Mediterranean trade was disrupted following the withdrawal of the British fleet in late 1796, sulphur imports to Britain dropped dramatically, only to rise again after the Battle of Aboukir Bay and the reintroduction of the British fleet. During this crisis, other sources were sought but were found to be unsatisfactory. The paper will also discuss the contracting process between the Ordnance and its suppliers to show differences between different materials: some for a given amount of time and others for a given quantity. In this respect ordnance and gunpowder can be seen to be unique, being the only stores contracted in the latter manner. Even with these problems, this paper will argue that standards were not only maintained but were actually improved in both ordnance and gunpowder. Additionally, Ordnance-merchant relations do not appear to have broken down and remained as cordial as could be expected under wartime conditions.

Heliana Comin Vargas, São Paulo University, Brazil
'The Evolution of the Retailing and Services Urban Policies: The Case of São Paulo City'
E-mail: hcvargas@usp.br

Having as an example the city of São Paulo, it is possible to observe changes in urban policies concerning retailing and services activities as a result of changes in the social and economic context. Although the control of the development of retailing and services activities never reached, here ( in Brazil), the condition of being an urban policy itself, it is possible to find some concerns about them through a search in urban law and codes. São Paulo city, since 1554, has passed through different emphases over time, as a result of changes in the city's economic dynamics, as it went from being provincial capital to coffee trade metropolis, subsequently becoming the country largest industrial center, and today, it takes on the role of a city of services too with 10 millions people in the city and 18 millions in the great metropolitan area. Retailing, whose target is the end consumer, has closely followed the changes in the make up of the population and the urban land, both from the qualitative and quantitative point of view. For better understanding the evolution of urban policies concerning retailing and services activities and their results, in São Paulo city, it divide the city history in five  periods with different approaches. The first one started considering the control over individual behavior (1822-1889) and the relationship between people, centered in measures which aimed fundamentally at ensuring the physical well-being of the town's inhabitants through control over standards of hygiene, morals and health safety. The second one period faces the control over foodstuffs distribution (1989-1929) throughout  free fairs and public markets buildings, considering that São Paulo city  reaching 240,000 inhabitants at the turn of the XIX century, and becoming the country's second largest city and assumes the condition of Coffee Metropolis. The third period is regarded to the control over retailing and services urban location (1929-1970) in order to diminish conflicts among the urban uses and problems of traffic congestion considering that, in 1950, the city’s population crept over the 2 million mark. Supermarkets and department stores and Shopping Arcades are the main representative buildings at that time. The fourth period is concerned about the decentralization process of retailing and services activities (1970-1990), assumed and reinforced by the first zoning law (1972). This was the moment where the real estate capital had started building big retailing and services plants, like shopping malls and mixed use developments. The fifth moment includes the control over the impact of large retail spaces in the urban context  and the proliferation of street peddlers/vendors (1990-2007). The main concern at this moment is the retailing and services urban management due to the size of the city and its condition of becoming the main cultural and business tourism city in the country. The urban policies have being including: the revitalization of traditional business city centers; urban works in   commercial streets; and programs to manage shopping areas reinforcing the condition of the city as the capital of shopping (retail and wholesale)  with different kind of goods, experiences and retail spaces to be in touch. This process asked for new tools to control retailing and services development, in order to maintain the quality of the public space and the vitality of traditional urban areas and take advantages from the opportunities generates for this unique condition of the city as well. We really believe that these tools go beyond urban law, and they reach the field of labor law and taxation,  the discussion of  property social rights and the need of achieving a fair and balanced wealth distribution.

Duncan Philip Connors, University of Glasgow, UK
'The Failure of Government intervention in  British shipbuilding 1964-1973'
E-mail: d.connors.1@research.gla.ac.uk

My paper will discuss the role of government policy in determining the fate of British industry during the so-called ‘long boom’ or ‘Golden Age’ of sustained economic growth between 1950 and 1973. The academic debates concerning the change in the global status of the United Kingdom after 1945 have evolved many separate points of view over the past 20 years, particular with the development of the ‘declinist’ paradigm. Indeed, The literature on British industrial decline in the face of competition from Japan and West Germany has focussed on whether the decline was relative (Abramovitz 1986) or whether it was absolute (Olson 1982 and 1986) and in recent years the literature has developed two conflicting arguments, namely the Broadberry-Crafts ‘manufacturing failure’ hypothesis versus the Booth assertion that no economic decline was evident in this period (Broadberry and Crafts 2003 and Booth 2003). Although based on the in-depth analysis of contemporary data covering a wide range of industries, it is my contention that a closer study of the relationship between government and specific industries can significantly add to the theories outlined above. As a specific industry, British shipbuilding in this period underwent a rapid transformation from an important player in the global market to a small specialist industry, whilst enjoying a privileged association with central government. It is the study of this relationship that has formed the basis for this paper. The literature on the decline of British shipbuilding has focussed on technological, institutional and political reasons for its demise. The first, advocates that British shipyards failed to modernise and increase productivity compared to those in Japan, West Germany and Sweden (Strath 1987). The second is that British institutional arrangements and relationships were fractious when compared to those found in competitor nations (Lorenz 1991). The political economy analysis states that governmental failures exacerbated the problems of the shipbuilding industry and did not address the industry’s concerns (Johnman and Murphy 2002). Taking the political economy approach, my paper will illuminate the relationship between the Wilson Labour government of 1964 to 1970 and shipyards in areas where there was either political devolution, Northern Ireland, or administrative devolution, Scotland, focussing specifically on Harland and Wolff in Belfast and Scott Lithgow in Greenock. By discussing the relationship between the Wilson government’s instrument of modernisation, the Shipbuilding Industry Board (SIB) and the Harland and Wolff and Scott Lithgow shipyards, a contextual narrative of developments from 1964 up until the OPEC oil crisis of 1973 will be presented. This paper demonstrates that government attempts to modernise infrastructure failed because a 5-year process of negotiation between shipyards and the SIB held up reconstruction, creating a number of development plans that did not reflect the prevailing orthodoxy and best practice found in shipbuilding globally, but rather a compromise between government, the SIB and shipbuilders. Indeed, not only did these negotiations involve the SIB and shipbuilders, but also central and regional government and consequently, the outcome reflected a myriad of views and opinions. As a contribution to the body of work on the economic decline of post-war Britain, my paper places emphasis on the relationship between government (both central and regional) and industry, producing a synthesis between the declinist literature and works on the political economy of this period.

Richard Coopey, London School of Economics, UK
'The Business of Art and the Art of Business: The Production of Creativity in the Modern Economy'
E-mail: rcc@aber.ac.uk

One of the big debates in the production and consumption of the arts is the place of subsidy and state support. Should the "creative" sector be subject to the normal laws of economy, or are they a separate entity, above the world of commerce, market forces - products for the enlightenment of the consumer, or for the enlightened consumer. Does this sector really constitute an "industry"? Clearly, at one level it does. Despite the debate over subsidy the so-called creative industries are an (increasingly) important sector of most advanced economies. The arts involve business activity at a range of levels, from individual producers and retailers to multinational, multidivisional corporations. This paper will explore the relationship between the arts and business, and business history, in the 20th century. It will cast a wide net, to encompass, art, literature, film and TV, popular music and fashion. In doing so the paper will highlight the range of business activity involved, including the relationship between innovation and the market, the structure and nature of arts enterprises, the role of technology in production and consumption, the development of mass markets and the role of national and international networks. All sectors of the arts industry, for example, struggle with the inherent contradictions of the new and the classic, the ephemeral and the traditional, the simultaneous approbation and admiration of the "commercial" – how do individuals or corporate entities relate business considerations to this volatile economic environment? One of the principal aims of the paper will be to understand whether it is useful to discuss the sector as a homogenous entity, or whether the range of activities differ markedly in terms of historical trajectories, the nature of production, the relationship between "artist" and the economy and so on. The paper forms an extension of work being undertaken by the author on the history of the popular music industry, between 1950 and 1975, currently underway at the Business History unit, LSE.

Tony Corley, University of Reading, UK
'Overcoming Country-Specific Disadvantages in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Beecham to GlaxoSmithKline 1960-2000'
E-mail: t.a.b.corley@reading.ac.uk

This paper aims to operationalise John Dunning’s key concept in multinational theory, of country-specific advantage in overseas enterprise. It presents an empirical study of pharmaceuticals in the later 20th century period of ever accelerating globalisation. Beecham, based in the less advantaged British economy, has since the 1960s been able to compete successfully against American competitors, by acquiring from US sources the advantages it needed.   A manufacturer of OTC medicines, Beecham entered the pharmaceutical industry in 1959 by evolving the world’s first semi-synthetic penicillins. Incapable of moving from pilot plant to full-scale production, it secured know-how from the US Bristol-Myers, which helped also with erecting its initial antibiotic factory. Beecham then established both manufacturing and R&D units in the United States, thereby gaining rapid information on the spot about new techniques, of use there and in the UK. It also adopted American methods of marketing, which it made the chief executive’s direct responsibility.   From 1987 onwards, Beecham acquired American entrepreneurship, recruiting a US chairman who introduced Harvard Business School techniques, and also two senior executives from US drug corporations. They then arranged a merger of equals with SmithKline of Philadelphia; the resulting SmithKline Beecham (SB) had its head office in Britain but its operational HQ in the United States. SB also forged collaborative agreements with US biotech companies.  In the 1990s, a decade of increasing concentration in the industry, it joined with Glaxo Wellcome to form GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the second largest drug company in the world, British-owned but with its operational HQ still in America. Almost half of GSK’s sales were to be in the United States, as were half of its total R&D operations. Britain’s advantage in pharmaceuticals was now to control this major global corporation while retaining full access to the US technology it still needed to remain fully competitive.

 Howard Cox, University of Worcester, UK
'International Capital Movements and the Treasury Embargo of 1931: The case of the Boots Share Deal'
E-mail: h.cox@worc.ac.uk

The repatriation of the share capital of Boots of Nottingham from American back to British investors between 1932 and 1933 provides an early example of international transactions circumventing restrictions put in place by national governments. When the American owners of the Boots Pure Drug Co., the United Drug Co., made their first attempt to float these share in the UK, the Treasury enforced an embargo which prevented the transaction from going ahead. Within a few months, however, the deal had been successfully revived and the shares were placed with British investors, leaving the Treasury and the Bank of England effectively helpless to intervene. Although business historians are well aware of this episode, the details have not to date been properly explained or understood. This paper sets out the specific circumstances of the first attempted deal, its collapse, and the subsequent resuscitation process. It does this using government records, held at the National Archives in London, that reveal the details of the decisions of Treasury and Bank of England officials, up to and including the Governor of the Bank of England, Montagu Norman, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Neville Chamberlain.

Andrea Davies, University of Leicester and Richard Elliott, University of Bath, UK
'Serving Herself: Evolution of Brand Consciousness and an Empowered Consumer in the UK'

E-mail: ajd42@leicester.ac.uk

Tracing the evolution of brand consciousness and brand choice through the lived experience of women is our focus. Consumption and brand symbolism are both characteristic of consumer culture and deeply implicated in theories of symbolic consumption, branding and brand theory. Our paper seeks to know when and indeed how brands moved from functional markers of quality and performance to become the important symbolic, emotional and social resources that are reported by consumers today. The paper reports analysis drawn from an ESRC funded project (RES-000-22-0863) which captures the life narratives of women from 1910 onwards in the United Kingdom. From the continuing analysis of data drawn from twenty three-generational family sets of women we show how the change to self-service retail formats was a pivotal influence on the early development of brand consciousness. For the first time women were responsible for making their own consumption choices.  Increased choice and responsibility was often experienced (at least initially) as challenging or confusing. Our study identifies empowerment as a complex or paradoxical process and provides further empirical evidence for a growing number of studies that that have challenged the linear benefit assumptions given to increased choice arising from classic economic theory. We show the development of brand consciousness is associated with a movement from the community-located consumer with little sense of choice in many aspects of life, to the individual /family decision maker for whom consumption is a major arena for lifestyle choices. For ordinary people mass consumer culture is found to be far from mature in the 1960s as has been suggested by studies that have not included consumers' recollected experience (Usherwood 2000; Bocock 1993).  By tracing and comparing the dynamics of brand consciousness and brand choice we are also beginning to show how positive-creative-inclusive, negative-confusing-excluding as well as ambivalent experiences unite and divide generations.

Stephanie Decker, Liverpool University, UK
'The Return of Free-standing Companies - John Holt & co. in Nigeria'
E-mail: sdecker@liverpool.ac.uk

Mira Wilkins’ concept of the free-standing company (FSC) has been particularly influential in the study of British business in the Empire, and there have been suggestions that this type of firm was suited well for operations in less developed countries or colonies. The company studied here, John Holt & Co, traded with Nigeria since the late nineteenth century, originally as a free-standing company (although Mira Wilkins disputes that trading companies were FSCs), then expanded in Africa and Europe for a few decades in the twentieth century, and eventually became part of Tiny Rowland’s  Lonrho. After a management buy-out in 2001, Holt became a free-standing manufacturer and merchant in Nigeria, headquartered in Liverpool. Why did the company return to an organisational form that many would associate with the historical time period of imperialism? In interviews with the chairman and managing director in Liverpool and Lagos, a number of reasons emerged, which suggest that more companies in Africa are likely to operate in a similar way. Lonrho Africa, the rump trading operations of Tiny’s Lonrho, have equally reverted to free-standing (also headquartered in Liverpool), and there are probably more medium-sized companies following this pattern. This paper explores in how far the current conditions favouring FSCs can help shed new light on the historical FSC, and what it means for business (history) that free-standing companies appear to become viable organisational forms again.

Colin Divall, University of York, UK
'Building Networks: The London and North Eastern Railway's Response to Road Distribution, 1923-39'
E-mail: c/o michael.anson@bankofengland.co.uk

Despite its central importance to the rapidly growing consumer society of the inter-war period, few historians have examined the distribution of merchandise. The seemingly inexorable rise of road haulage after 1920 has long been noted, and more recently Peter Scott has estimated the effect both on the size of the overall market for moving goods and the competitive position of the railways. A tiny number of studies give some insights into the policies and practices of individual road haulage firms to supplement Thomas Gibson’s overview of the industry. Scott has recently mounted a spirited defence of the railways’ response to the road hauliers, arguing that the companies were hamstrung by an inappropriate regulatory framework imposed by the 1921 Railways Act  and that they therefore acted rationally in seeking to obtain legislative redress via the regulation of road haulage. Basing his case partly on the largest of the Big Four railway companies, the LMS, he also argues that given this constraint the railways generally based their pricing on sound business principles and, despite conservatism in some spheres of operation, they were fairly innovative, particularly from the late 1920s, when it came to service improvements. This paper is a coda to Scott’s argument. It draws upon evidence in a rarely used source, the company magazines, to explore in more detail the way in which the London and North Eastern Railway – the second largest of the companies, and the one most badly affected by economic depression – perceived and responded to the threat of road distribution. The company magazine was primarily aimed at the workforce, and so provides evidence both for the way in which management wished its policies and practices to be understood, and for the workers’ own take on such matters. More particularly, I examine three aspects of the LNER’s response to road haulage. First, attempts by managers to enrol workers into the competitive battle by conceptualizing the entire workforce as a gigantic sales force. Second, the debate within the railway at all levels over the pros and cons of its competitive position, particularly relating to the method of charging and the national reach of the network. Third, the development, after the grant of road powers in 1928, of attempts to meet the threat of road haulage by providing a comprehensive rail-road system of distribution.

Helen Doe, University of Exeter, UK
'Women in Business or Businesswomen? The Challenges for Women in the Maritime Industry, 1780-1880'
E-mail: H.R.Doe@exeter.ac.uk

The historiography of businesswomen is still developing and two books published in 2006 have shown that despite apparent limitations of law and custom women ran a range of businesses in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  The problems of investigating the ‘hidden investment’, women as the unknown and silent partners in family business, have been recognised by Davidoff and Hall.  Women are usually only seen to be running a business as they become widows. An added difficulty is that good source material such as business accounts for female enterprises are rare and so trade directories or insurance records are frequently the sole indication of a woman in charge of a business. These sources, however, can only indicate the presence of the women and provide little indication of the role the woman played in the enterprise. In the shipping industry women appear in a range of businesses such as shipbuilding, ship management, sailmaking, chandlery and blacksmithing. Many of these are in traditionally non feminine trades. By examining the nature of the role, the business challenges for both men and women and considering the individual circumstances of the women it is possible to build up a more complete picture of the businesswoman. Where possible the business effectiveness was measured to determine whether the enterprise improved or declined when being run by a woman. The maritime sector provides a range of ways in which both the effectiveness of a business and the business and personal challenges can be revealed. This paper aims to set the businesswoman in her proper context rather than as a fleeting entry in a directory.

C. Downs, Manchester Metropolitan University
'Oznaby, Umbrellas and Hats for the Ladies: Trading with the West Indies during the War of Independence'
E-mail:
c.m.downs@mmu.ac.uk

It is unusual for an historian to be able to establish in great detail the life of any but those considered one of ‘the great and the good’. The unusual amount of documentary sources; both by, and about, Daniel Eccleston (1745-1821) provide a rare opportunity to view a turbulent period in British history through the experiences of an individual. Eccleston’s business letters reveal a hidden history that lies beneath received wisdom of the period. The West Indies are revealed by the Eccleston letters as something of a poisoned chalice for slave-owners as well as for slaves: with the risk of death through disease an ever present accompaniment to the prospect of riches. Eighteenth-century America, the cradle of liberty and freedom, is illustrated, by a telling comment of Eccleston’s, not as the land of opportunity for all, but a place of unremitting toil and hardship for the many. This paper will look at the methods of financing trade across the Atlantic in the 1780s and will consider how consumer demand was met. The paper will consider how merchants overcame the difficulties of privateers, hurricanes and death and will show that communication and business practices that are recognisably modern were well-established by the 1780s. The paper will also illustrate how communications and networks that were mainly for business purposes were also a means of spreading radicalism across the Atlantic and the regions of England and the importance of links between traders in the development radical ideas in the period.

Paul Duguid, University of California Berkeley, US
'A Prehistory of Trademark Law: The French Connection'
E-mail: duguid@ischool.berkeley.edu 

While we have numerous good histories of patent and copyright law, comparatively little has been written about the early history of trademark law.   Modern accounts tend to begin with the British Merchandise Marks Act of 1862, the US act of 1870, or the British Trade Mark Registration Act of 1875.   Such accounts tend to ignore the pressures that brought these laws into being.  On the one hand there was the growing litigation in (and growing costs of) Equity courts, as firms found it increasingly imperative to establish control over the use of their names and marks.  On the other there was significant diplomatic pressure, as countries tried to standardize their approach to trade marks in particular and intellectual property in general.  For both Britain and the US, the French were particularly influential in both these areas.  French firms fought in both English and US courts (indeed, it was a French-led suit that led to the US law of 1870 being declared unconstitutional), while French diplomacy (in particular, for England, the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty of 1860) also brought pressure to bear on parliament.  I will examine this usually overlooked "French connection", suggesting that it throws a new light on conventional accounts of trademark law and strategy in the late nineteenth century.

Clive Edwards, Loughborough University, UK
'The ‘Scandinavian ideal’ in retailing of design: Two distinct approaches to the marketing of an ideal'
E-mail: C.Edwards@lboro.ac.uk

The ‘Scandinavian ideal’ in design has, arguably, been established for over a century and has manifested itself in a variety of ways. This paper investigates two apparently very different attempts to market this ideal across the world. The case studies are of the wholesale export Danish furniture industry in the period 1950-70 and of the ‘Swedish’ furniture retailers IKEA from the 1970s to date. It can be argued that ‘Scandinavian design’ is a retail brand that is the basis of an identity myth that allows individuals to personify the brand to fit their own biography and thus create a relationship.  This brand image has taken many years to develop and is an interesting mix of benign socialism, user-centred design, and elegant simplicity, all delivered by an efficient business infrastructure with a global reach. The interesting comparison of a group of manufacturers and a single retail company may seem at first to be incongruous. However, this paper argues that they both have had a distinctive approach to the brand issue, have come to it completely differently, but the underlying tenets are remarkably similar to each other and the original ideas that founded the values of Scandinavian design. The issues associated with brand image and cultural branding, linked to retailing strategies across nations, are two main planks of investigation. In the case of the Danish furniture industry, the brand was based on tradition, quality and brand exclusivity, sold through retailers who were design specialists. The culture of design, although consumer-orientated and ergonomically considered was based on a craft and industry approach which was heavily concerned with making quality products for an exclusive market. On the other hand, the democratisation that lay at the heart of the Scandinavian ideal may have been better served by IKEA. This was achieved through the globalization of the market place for home furnishings, by appealing to a mass market across a range of consumer profiles, and developing an organizational strategy that could deliver standardized products that were subtly adapted to local marketing conditions. The selling of the ‘Scandinavian ideal’ to a world-wide market by the two case studies reveals a range of similarities and differences that reflect similar and differing marketing approaches.  Both use the cultural brand idea of Scandinavia being the home of ‘good design’, but IKEA stress democracy over elitism. As a study of two and business organisation this paper reveals the impact of issues such as marketing, consumer identity, economics of change and internationalisation of furniture selling.

Roy Edwards, University of Southampton, UK
'Technological Change and the Transition from Rail to Road: An Opportunity Lost, c. 1920-30'
E-mail:
R.A.Edwards@soton.ac.uk

This paper deals with the emergence of road hauled freight as a serious competitor to the railways in the interwar period, and the associated regulatory policy pursued by the Ministry of Transport.  The transport network had always been a ‘creature of statute’ and immediately after the First World War, the newly formed Ministry of Transport was faced with the task of restructuring the railway network to facilitate, ‘efficient and economical working’.  However, the War had seen the demand for road hauled vehicles, powered by both steam and the internal combustion engine, assume a new importance.  By 1928 the recently amalgamated ‘big four’ railway companies were pushing to be given road haulage powers that would complement their existing cartage and delivery services.  These were duly granted. However, this paper will argue that the failure to consider granting such powers earlier, as part of the 1921 Railway Act, held up the development of integrated road-rail distribution.  While civil servants at the Ministry realised that that road haulage represented an important threat to the railway freight business, their political masters lacked the will to grant road powers to the railways.  This had consequences for the railway companies, as they were being regulated as if a monopoly, when in fact road haulage produced a market more akin to competition.  It is possible that had road powers been granted under the 1921 Act, then a more comprehensive distribution network might have been created, and some of the problems faced in the period by the railways been ameliorated.  Evidence from the thirties indicates that the railways were keen to develop transport services along the lines of modern logistic organisations.

Stuart Evans, Central Saint Martins, UK
'A Virtual Guild'
E-mail: s.evans@csm.arts.ac.uk

This paper will focus on an Arts and Crafts group called The Century Guild of Artists (floreat 1882-1892).  It is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant of such groups which characterised the Arts and Crafts movement.  The Century Guild’s stated aim was ‘To render all branches of Art the sphere, no longer of the tradesman but, of the Artist’.  This anti-trade stance was not reflected in either its output or its methods. The Guild mainly produced furnishings for the middle class home: many of its products incorporated its initials or rebus in their design as an indicator of source; it used established up-market house furnishers with premises in prominent positions as agents to market its wares and, as store-within-store, it displayed its name outside, and it presented itself to the public through displays of fully furnished rooms shown at national and international exhibitions.  However it also presented itself as part of the contemporary arts world through its associated journal; The Century Guild Hobby Horse, and, disinterestedly, it recommended other art furnishers, some of them potentially in competition with the group or its agents.  Contemporary journalistic criticism was split between praise of its anti-commercial position and those who condemned it for that reason. It can be speculated that although avowedly anti-commercial the Century Guild used advanced methods in its organisation, marketing and selling. It appears that it had no staff apart from those of the architectural practice from which it was promoted; it claimed to have workshops, but these were the premises of the artists associated with it; the furniture it sold was made to their designs by their agents, and it is likely that they at least shared the expense involved, perhaps its entire cost, for the public response the Guild’s work excited; production of its wallpapers and textiles was contracted out, and again the producers probably shared or assumed the costs; the items of artwork and craft exhibited as by the Guild's members and sold by its agents were probably taken on a sale or return basis and the Guild may well have charged commission. It is likely the costs of its exhibition appearances was managed through a revolving fund, the sale of the set of furnishings shown financing the next appearance. It is possible to demonstrate a link between the design of Century Guild artefacts and interiors with the manufacturing and trading methods they employed, that is, the appearance was in part generated by the means of production and marketing. The paper will be contextualised by locating the Century Guild against other London-based furnishers who introduced new manufacturing and trading methods.

Özen Eyüce, Bahcesehir Üniversity, Turkey
'Ottoman Railways and the Effects on Urban Structure of Izmir'
E-mail: ozen.eyuce@bahcesehir.edu.tr

Taking cue from transformations occurring in the nineteenth-century Western world, the Mediterranean port of Ýzmir (Symrna) in Western Anatolia, underwent development in its economy, demography, urban morphology, and witnessed the introduction of infrastructure related to communication and information systems. The city, which developed an agricultural economy in the18th century due to its vast agricultural hinterland, has become a distribution and control centre of a market economy from the second half of the 19th century on. The new Free Trade Agreement signed with England and proceeding regulations for the landownership of foreigners led the same foreigners to move towards the inlands of Ýzmir, to the vast hinterland so as to exploit mining and agricultural resources. As a consequence of these developments, the city was subjected to demographical changes both as quantitative and compositional changes. This heterogeneity can clearly be seen in the settlement pattern and architectural end products. Examples of these can still be seen today despite devastating fires and earthquakes. The developments in the form of suburban expansions are the most important reflection of the changes in the land policies and also, of the developments in transportation systems. Modernisation of communication and information systems parallel to the developments in the West has led to the rapid spread and expansion of residential areas in Ýzmir. Especially, after the building of Ýzmir (Alsancak) – Aydýn and Ýzmir (Basmahane) - Kasaba railway lines, suburbs have rapidly developed. These two railway lines, with dead end in the form of a tree-like scheme, were built by British (1856) and French (1863) companies to transport the raw material from its point of extraction to the newly built port. The railway system, while transforming caravan routes to short-distance inter city routes, has also caused the  traditional organic pattern of the inner city to change into a regular planned pattern.

Albane Forestier, London School of Economics, UK
'Mercantile networks and the circulation of information: the West Indian trade of Bristol in the 1780s seen through business correspondences'
E-mail: A.R.Forestier@lse.ac.uk

This paper is part of a doctoral research, which aims to understand the commercial organisation of the West Indian trade in France and Britain, the two largest European trading nations in the eighteenth-century, and its influence on both countries’ success. Business communities in ports have been the objects of individual monographs in each country, but no attempt has yet been made to compare French and English historiographies, therefore allowing for misconceptions to be cleared, or to put these studies in a wider international perspective. The revision of these historiographies is also justified by the increasing attention paid to networks as a conceptual tool for explaining relationships between firms and the adoption of particular sets of business practices. The interest in networks derives from their primordial role in creating flows of information, credit, goods or resources. This study will examine business correspondences from traders in Bristol and Bordeaux, both national leaders in the sugar trade. In both countries, the trade with the West Indian colonies was controlled by individual firms, and mostly developed outside the influence of central governments. However, it is often claimed that French traders were less efficient than their English counterparts, despite macroeconomic evidence to the contrary. A closer look at networks can provide additional insight into this matter. In this paper, I will be looking at the business correspondence of two Bristol traders in the 1780s: James Rogers a leading slave trader, whose business failed in 1793 and John Pinney arrived from Nevis in 1783. Other chapters of the dissertation will focus on networks in the first half of the eighteenth-century and evaluate patterns of changes in trading networks. The West Indian trade, because of the distance involved and the delays in communication, was subject to asymmetric information and cooperation problems between actors. Information on price, availability and demand for goods and resources was vital for traders, who invested a high proportion of their working capital in each venture under very risky and competitive circumstances. I argue that networks helped solve these coordination problems by allowing for long-term cooperation between firms and individuals. 
Metropolitan traders used their relations with captains, associates in the West Indies, other affiliated traders and planters to derive information about the colonial context and transmit orders and decisions. This study aims to offer a clear typology of these relations by focusing on communication links. Evidently, networks established or used for the distribution of information overlap with other types of networks, based on commercial and family relationships, and this aspect will be more specifically investigated. The size, diversity and configuration of the networks created by these merchants will be examined. Size, based on the number of correspondents, is important as it determines the degree of flexibility and choice between locations for doing business. Diversity, understood as the multiplicity of differently specified contacts, permits the circulation of different types of information and its control through cross-examination. Configuration, which refers to the general structure of networks, helps explain the performance of firms based on the efficiency of the networks they belong to.

Robert Greenhalgh, UEA, UK
'Trade and Business Disruption, Guernsey and the Nazi Occupation'
E-mail: robert.greenhalgh@uea.ac.uk

The research period allows the study of the disruption of established international and domestic business networks in the Bailiwick during a vastly changing historic period. The immediate pre-war economy was a period of a growing prosperity for the islands based on an agriculture and tourism after a period of depression. The period from June 30th 1940 until the 9th of May 1945 saw the German Occupation and the immediate post-war period saw the re-establishing of trade patterns, to some extent in an altered state. This research examines the oral and documentary historical evidence that relates to these issues, from a within a Guernsey perspective. Guernsey’s war-time experience is often referred to as one of suffering deprivation and this is indeed for many one of the main themes of its history in this period. Nevertheless there was, for some of those remaining in the islands, opportunities to take part in an expanding economy with substantial investment by the Nazis in the airport and in defence constructions. Opportunities to engage in a black market were also available and judgements regarding the extent to which this operated are difficult to make. Logistics and the hotel industry also had substantial volume increases in activity reported in the States records, but the extent to which prosperity flowed from the Occupation is disputed.  For Jewish businesses the situation was unambiguously atrocious. Firstly, forced to display ‘Jewish undertaking’ signs in their windows after the States passed the anti-Jewish legislation demanded by the Nazis the business owners suffered further when they were forced to sell off or relinquish ownership of their businesses. However it is not clear how this process was applied to Montague Burton’s. Their business did cease but without stock from the mainland it was unlikely in any case to prosper in the way that it had. The archive gives some clue but the nature of the long-standing censorship and an omerta preclude the assembly of a full and complete account of this significant issue. The immediate post-war period is a fascinating one. The War Tax Profits levy and the restricted currency conversion opportunities were designed to punish the ‘profiteers’ but there were difficulties in implementing the collection of the levy by the States.  The phase ‘Model Occupation’ referring to the Channels Islands in general has mostly been interpreted in the context of a model for the Nazi Occupation of the United Kingdom. More recent historiography suggests that the phrase ‘Model Occupation’, more controversially, could refer to the behaviour of the islanders, as being model subjects during the Occupation. This study draws on documentary and oral evidence to explore both models.

Richard Hang, University of Reading, UK
'The Comparison of Retail Evolution of Department Store and Supermarkets in China (1900-2005)'
E-mail: h.hang@rdg.ac.uk

Although the under research of retail evolution has been well documented (e.g. Benson and Shaw, 1994; Jefferys, 1954), as scholars held the “false belief that distribution is a sterile, unproductive activity”(preface, Jefferys, 1954) and bypassed the retailing sectors and distribution systems to focus research on “seemingly more promising fields to study in manufacturing, or social and demographic change” (page 1, Benson and Shaw, 1994), it seemed that this trend don’t diminish over time (Benson and Shaw, 1994). Furthermore, even among those limited researches focusing on retail evolution, majority of them developed theories or models with only reference to American or European retail experience (e.g. Benson and Shaw, 1994; Coles, 1999a; 1999b; Brown, 1987; Alexander, 1997; Godley and Fletch, 2000; Godley, 2002; Savitt, 1989) while ignoring others. In additional, Brown (1987) argued that these so-called theories of retail evolution to large extent are “as little more than inductively derived generalisation” (page 5), therefore considerable concerns remained to the limitation of their generalizabiltiy as they were all conceived as context dependency (Evans, Barnes and Schlacter 1993). In order to fill in the above research gaps, this paper by focusing on the emergence and evolution of department store and supermarkets in China over the last century (1900-2005), tries to test those theories’ generalizability and creates a theory best suitable for retail evolution in the Chinese context.  Another aim of this paper is to explore how country’s institutional framework could influence the retail technology transfer as both of these two retail formats were brought to China from the West where the national institution environment are different.

Catherine Harbor, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
'The Birth of the Music Business: Advertising Commercial Concerts in London 1660–1750'
E-mail: C.Harbor@rhul.ac.uk

London in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century was a large and powerful city: the home of both the nation’s parliament and its sovereign, it was also an important centre for finance, trade and manufacturing (Corfield 1982).  Already the largest city in Europe by 1700, London continued to grow throughout the eighteenth century and by 1800 was the third largest city in the world, being exceeded in population size only by Edo (Tokyo) and Peking (Beijing) (Harding 1990; Lawless and Brown 1986; Rozman 1976; Finlay and Shearer 1986).  This large and growing population provided a ready consumer market for the multifarious industries to be found within its environs.  Not least among these was the rapidly increasing commercial entertainment industry, providing amusement both for the locally-resident middle classes and for the members of polite society who flocked to the social centre that was London during the ‘season’.  Among the various elements that made up the entertainment industry, music was for the first time becoming a commercial venture, moving away from its earlier dependence on church, court and home.  It was in this context that the public concert emerged.  Concert-like events had been in existence for some little time — as part of the entertainment provided at a theatre, an open-air performance by the town waits (musicians), or a private concert at court or in the house of a nobleman.  The novel feature of public concerts as they developed in London in the late seventeenth century was that they were commercial enterprises: entrepreneurs advertised their concerts in newspapers and elsewhere, engaged professional musicians, charged admission and hoped to make a profit. Many phenomena came together to aid the birth and development of the music business.  Plumb has drawn attention to the increasing affluence in British society that aided the commercialisation of leisure in the eighteenth century: ‘This can be discerned in the 1690s, and by 1750 and 1760 leisure was becoming an industry with great potentiality for growth’ (Plumb 1982).  This, he avers, was one of the ‘social signs of affluence’.  Another, that of a boom in the publishing industry, also aided and abetted the rise of commercialised leisure.  The lapsing of the Licensing (Printing) Act in 1695 ended the control of the Stationers’ Company over the number of printers.  There was an immediate and rapid increase in the number of printers leading to the foundation of new newspapers in London and elsewhere and a boom in publishing generally.  The single official newspaper that had been allowed previously under the Act, the bi-weekly London Gazette, was joined in 1695 by three new London newspapers: The Flying Post, Post Boy, and Post Man.  These were published three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, to tie in with departures of the Penny Post from London.  The first successful daily paper, the Daily Courant, began publication in London in March 1702 (Harris 1978; Black 1991, 2001).  The great growth in the printing industry, shown in the huge increase in the number of newspapers, provided an opportunity for public commercial concerts to be advertised, and the ever-expanding number of publications both of music and of musical instruction manuals reflected and fed the mounting interest in music.    
This paper will examine the use of newspaper advertising to support the burgeoning music industry, focussing on the methods of persuasion that concert promoters used in their attempts to attract an audience.

Michael Heller, Queen Mary, University of London
'Company Magazines 1878-1935: origins, roles and functions'
E-mail: M.Heller@qmul.ac.uk

The rise of the company magazine was coterminous with the rise of the large-scale organisation both in the US and the UK and indeed can be argued to have been a contributing factor. The ubiquity of the magazine and the importance that these were given by managers and workers singles them out as important entities within the organisation. In addition, from a historiographical perspective, company magazines are often the first ‘document’ that  the business historian examines in the first stages of analysis of the organisation. They are both available and accessible, welcoming and informative. It is the aim of this paper to examine the emergence and development of the company magazine within British organisations between 1878 and 1935 asking the questions of what caused these journals to appear and what were their functions within the organisation. By the 1930s virtually every large-scale organisation had a company magazine in Britain and large sums of capital and energy were committed to their operations and success. Using material from a range of organisations such as the Prudential Assurance Company, Shell Transport and Trading, the Westminster Bank, the London County Council and The Industrial Welfare Society, the paper has divided its analysis of company journals into two periods, 1878-1914 and 1914-35. In much of the first part magazines were limited to a minority of large-scale organisations and were relatively amateur in appearance and operation. In the second period magazines became the norm in these organisations, became much more professional and were often an official part of the firm, run by salaried personnel. In addition, the reasons for their origins in both periods differ to some extent. In the former they were a response to the rapid growth in organisations and (alongside organisational sport) a disciplinary strategy inspired by the public school model. In the latter period they were a result of the amalgamations in many sectors in the British economy, the rise of industrial welfare and the emergence of the Human Relations Movement in management. In relation to functions the magazines served an operational role of informing, educating and entertaining and a structural/strategic one of providing an important platform for the development of corporate identity and organisational culture, and a site for  the exercise of a softer and more tacit form of managerial power. The new journal Management and Organizational History is currently compiling a special edition on the history of the company journal. This paper will form an important introduction to what is expected to be a very interesting, informative and dynamic collection of articles.

John Hinks, University of Leicester, UK
'Book-trade Networks in England, 1700-1850'
E-mail: john.hinks@virgin.net

My current research (supported by a British Academy research grant) focuses on the concepts of ‘Community’ and ‘Network’ in the book trade, especially in provincial English towns, from 1700 to 1850. There is ample evidence that many provincial booksellers and printers benefited from their trade links with each other and with the London book trade. Where these connections existed over a period of time and between a number of book-trade people, they may be considered as trade communities. Another type of book-trade community is also being studied: those held together by a particular set of political or religious beliefs, e.g. Chartists, Quakers, etc. My research examines the key features of both of these types of book-trade community and also looks at the shorter-term links (usually less formal than partnerships) between, for example, a number of booksellers and a printer to share the cost and risk of producing a particular book. The proposed paper would discuss the key features of book-trade communities and networks, and would also refer to contacts between the book trade and other commercial activities in order to supply a wider context.

David Humphrey, Royal College of Art, UK
'The Gemstone Trade in Late Medieval Northern Europe'
E-mail: david.humphrey@rca.ac.uk

In the period between c.1250 and c.1450, the demand for gemstones in northern Europe grew at a previously unknown pace with the French and Valois Burgundian courts requiring ever increasing quantities not only to feed personal demand but also to fuel their complex social structures and power networks. In the early part of the period demand could be satisfied by a combination of acquisition within the local goldsmithing market and the recycling of stones extracted from existing items of goldsmiths’ work. As the period progressed, demand rapidly outstripped the limits of existing routes to acquisition and saw the rise of the goldsmith as entrepreneur in the gemstone market and the development of middlemen and brokers working in an international market that linked the major cities of northern Europe with the Mediterranean, North Africa and beyond. Extant inventories and wills serve to illustrate the volume of gemstones owned and traded over the course of the period and the development of identifiable structures in patterns of acquisition, ownership and the often overlooked importance of loan and pawn. By the end of the period the uses to which gemstones were put ranged far beyond their value as visually striking components in pieces of goldsmiths’ work. This paper traces the expansion of the gemstone trade in northern Europe from essentially local and national roots to its operation on an international scale. It examines the nature of the demand for gemstones, the sourcing of specific gemstones and the interrelationship with the precious metals market. On a trading level it examines the various roles engaged in bringing gemstones from source to final setting.

Nora Jiménez,  El Colegio de Michoacan, Mexico
'Business in mold letter. Book trade networks to New Spain XVI-middle XVIIth centuries'
E-mail: njimenezdweb@mixmail.com

In modern western culture, books are looked upon as particularly noble objects: nothing less than the key vehicle for the transmission of civilization and knowledge. And this noblesse extends out to embrace not only the objects themselves but also everything associated with them. Yet, in the early modern period, and largely due to their material nature (as distinct from their cultural character), books also functioned in trade networks as just one more kind of merchandise, and book traders behaved much like any other kind of merchant. The paper I propose contains the results of a long-term research project centered on the book trade in New Spain from the 16th to the mid-17th centuries. It focuses on the traders themselves, because their activities provide the most reliable sources of information as to which books were sent out to Spain’s royal territories in the New World and when they were sent. Moreover, this approach reveals how such trade networks functioned –not only between the Spanish metropolis and New Spain, but also in Europe more generally– and how, when all is said and done, they depended on sources of financing, on pre-existing distribution networks, and on the possibility of obtaining other products through exchange that were deemed valuable and were sought after by the higher echelons of European traders. Such merchandise included raw materials used in textile manufacturing and precious metals. Thus, my work broadens its scope to include trends in the European book trade that brought books to Spain and then forwarded them to New Spain via the voyages of the Spanish Fleet. Commercial nodes on these networks included such important centers of book production as Antwerp, Florence, Lyon and Venice and involved several Spanish cities, not only Seville but also Medina del Campo and Salamanca in the 16th century, and Madrid and Alcalá de Henares in the 17th, when the network collapsed and had to be reconstructed using other sources of financing and contacts. The paper also approaches the often tricky question of merchants’ strategies and business practices, including speculation, credit, shipping and retailing. Certain social practices are also reviewed: marriage, biological reproduction, professional diversification and relationships with established powers. This research has allowed me to reconstruct the different generations that participated in the emergence of New Spain’s book trade network into the 17th century, to outline several of its hierarchical levels, and to define the diverse and changing roles of production, intermediation and lobbying, etc. 
When dealing with the book trade in Spanish America, one ineluctable topic is the role of the Inquisition, so my paper explores how the control and vigilance of religious authorities affected the traders’ activities, and the many tactics to which merchants had recourse in their relations the authorities of the Inquisition. Though it is true that New Spain was just a remote corner in this universe of world trade, its very isolation means that it can serve as a kind of laboratory, in which the conditions, circumstances and other aspects of the development of the book trade can be identified more clearly than in the more hectic context of European exchange which, due to its very density, leaves few spaces through which we can catch glimpses of the kind of subtle but inexorable developments that this paper describes. It is clear that New Spain’s book traders were but modest figures compared to their large-scale Atlantic and European counterparts, but it is true that without their commercial activities –limited as they were– and their eagerness for profit, many fewer books would have found their way to such far-off corners of the New World, and the process of cultural transference from Europe would have been a much more difficult and much less successful one.

Michelle Jones, University College for the Creative Arts, Rochester, UK
'A Performance of Culture and Commerce: British Fashion Promotion and the Royal Ballet’s American and Canadian Tours (1949-51)'
E-mail: michelleandmojo@hotmail.com

Between 1949 and 1951 the British fashion industry used the Sadler’s Wells Ballet tours of America and Canada as a promotional vehicle. The dancers operated as unofficial ambassadors by wearing full travelling-wardrobes of 3,000 articles, donated by 145 members of the British Apparel Industry.  This responded to the need for stronger consumer demand for British clothing in the North American market. Through links formed with the American Merchandising Corporation, which facilitated ‘tie-ups’ with retailing outlets, this mixture of culture and commerce was seen to fit the comparatively mature retail ecology of North America; where attraction and desire were seen as critical to encourage demand. The use of the ballet company, an important cultural resource, as mannequins for the British fashion industry had clear political, cultural and industrial implications. This paper will offer an analysis of this strategic attempt at mercantile seduction, which aimed to convert the cultural capital of the ballet into a more commodified form of economic capital. Using archival research the paper aims to quantify the extent to which the publicity attending the Ballet and their off-stage dressing was translated into demand within the American consumer cycle. The tour will therefore be analysed as an external attempt to structure meaning and value into British fashion goods, through tracing the tensions that arose within this path towards transatlantic distribution and consumption. This cultural mediation will be viewed through an industrial and economic discourse, aligning it with recent work that challenges more generalised cultural readings by addressing fashion design through the interplay of manufacture, distribution and display. This paper will therefore focus on the divergent priorities and economic attitudes apparent between the political and productive arenas. Through mapping the conflicting and overlapping contexts of the ballet tour’s promotional activity, the manipulation of consumer susceptibility is shown to be a complicated process: not simply a matter of placing clothing onto highly visible personalities and watching garments fly out of the shops in a flurry of emulation. Consumer demand was not stimulated simply by the symbolic mixing of culture and commerce but as this paper will show by a hidden web of commercial, industrial and political activity.

Pernilla Jonsson, Uppsala University and Fredrik Sandgren, Uppsala University, Sweden
'Who dares to innovate? Debates on retail innovation in the Swedish retail trade press 1950-2000'
E-mail: Fredrik.Sandgren@ekhist.uu.se 

In order to develop of survive every business must be aware of the need to innovate. The choice of doing so can however be difficult and influence of a multitude of factors reaching from national and international legislation to the market structure in a distinct locality and of course the mentality of the manager of a company. One way of coming to make a choice is to provide you with information on the pros and cons of adopting a new technology or a new organisation principle. Here the trade press should have provided a helping hand. The aim of this paper is to discuss the Swedish debate on innovation within food retailing in the trade press. Swedish food retailing was and is to a certain extent characterised by quite small retail companies and organisations while the large businesses is found within the wholesale sector. For a large part individual retailers or consumer societies have since the early 1900s been either tied to the Co-operative society (KF), wholesaling companies within ICA, or to the wholesaler ASK. Thus many small retailers and consumer societies had to make individual choices concerning the adaptation of innovations as self service, modern stock facilities and computerisation. One way of deciding whether to innovate or not was to read the trade press. By studying three retailing magazines, one from KF, one from ICA and one from ASK, at three points in time (early 1950s, mid 1960s and mid 1990s) we will follow some debates on innovation and find our which innovations that where discussed, and what was said for and against these innovations. During the periods of study we will probably concentrate on the discussion of self-service in the 1950s, joint advertising in the 1960s and computer cash registers in the 1990s. This paper is the effort of a new project called “A regional and organisational perspective on diffusion of innovations in the Swedish food trades 1900-2000” that have funding from The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, The Tore Browaldh Foundation, and will run for c. three years.

Samuli Kaislaniemi, University of Helsinki, Finland
'Modelling the long-distance correspondence network of the early English East India Company (1600–1630)'
E-mail: samuli.kaislaniemi@helsinki.fi

The surviving ships’ journals and logs of the English East India Company (EIC) form a hoard of historical data which is unwieldy due to its sheer size. One tool facilitating its use is a catalogue compiled by Anthony Farrington and published in 1999, which also includes details of each EIC voyage – the places where the ships stopped, and dates when they did so. This information can be, and has been used for broad historical investigations – such as charting the trading networks of the EIC (Erikson & Bearman 2006), and recreating South Atlantic trade winds (Farrington et al. 1997). This paper describes a project which similarly takes the catalogue as a starting point, with the aim to model the correspondence network of the early EIC (1600–1630). The data from the catalogue will be supplemented by more detailed information extracted from other published and original sources, and a database of the motions of the EIC fleet will be created. These coordinates will then be fed into an interactive map, which will display the movements of the EIC fleet in real time.
Combined with information on the company’s correspondence – surviving letters, and mentions of letters in surviving documents – the map will recreate the real routes of the long-distance correspondence of the early EIC. Such a tool will be invaluable for investigating the dissemination of knowledge between the EIC headquarters and its merchants in the East Indies.

Drew Keeling, University of Zurich, Switzerland
'Atlantic Shipping Company Strategies and Migration between Europe and the United States, 1900-14'
E-mail: drewkeeling@yahoo.com 

Late nineteenth and early twentieth century transatlantic migration was the most sizable and ethnically diverse mass transoceanic movement of people ever, and has long been studied as such by sociologists, economists, and historians. Scholars have devoted far less attention to the fact that this “Great Migration” across the labor markets of the North Atlantic was also a huge and inherently international business, generating, by 1913, about £15 million in annual revenues for the oceanic transport oligopoly carrying out this tremendous human relocation. British shipping firms had taken a leading role in the 1850s and 1860s by establishing new corporate organizations, creating powerful international networks, and applying innovative steam power, metallurgical and propulsion technologies to this commerce in human transport. Even after 1900, when the locus of migrant origins and travel routes shifted away from the British Isles, and transport competitors elsewhere gained in market share, the strategies of the British “first-movers” continued to set the tone for the entire oceanic passenger travel industry. Past histories of U.K. and North Atlantic shipping in the steamship era have been very heavily focused on freight carriage, even though passenger traffic was a larger source of income, and most of the passengers were migrants. Compared to cargo transport, the migrant traffic business was also riskier, more international, and developed more of a “retail” character. Three sets of international networks underpinned budget travel on early twentieth century North Atlantic steamships. Coordinated cartel arrangements amongst the transport enterprises constrained competition within ports, allocated market shares, and inhibited fare wars. Governmental entities which simultaneously protected, stimulated and regulated passenger shipping lines, also worked with them to develop intertwined networks designed to facilitate the handling and control of huge crowds flowing along inland routes, through ports, and across the ocean. A third set of networks were those which linked centralized passenger departments and port offices of large shipping corporations to numerous and far-flung steamship agents, who booked passages, sold tickets, and facilitated movement between villages all across Europe and the major entry ports of North America. Their end of the business had an important retail dimension, and was often bundled together with travel, financial, communication, and employment services. Many of them operated small shops or offices in their local communities and worked with steamship companies as a sideline. This paper will be based on an examination of corporate records of board meetings and correspondence, particularly of the Cunard company in the Liverpool and competitors in several other ports, and will compare salient aspects of the decision-making orientation and strategy revealed there against available information from press articles, governmental reports, migrant accounts, and other sources, in order to develop a composite picture of how shipping lines planned for, organized, and marketed to their migrant travellers. A particular focus will be on the extent to which, in the transport of migrants, practical management practices developed as integral elements within consciously planned “wholesale” corporate strategies versus evolving ad-hoc from the “bottom up.”

John Killick, University of Leeds, UK

'Jobs for the Boys: Office Procedures and Administration in an American 19th century Shipping Line: The Cope Line of Philadelphia - Liverpool Packets, 1820-1880'
E-mail: J.R.Killick@leeds.ac.uk

This paper examines the records and office methods of an American 19th century sailing packet line - the Cope Line of Philadelphia. The line's ships departed on schedule from Philadelphia to Liverpool and back, almost every month between 1822-1870. Their archive in the Pennsylvania Historical Society includes not only the standard letterbooks, and interlocking ledgers, journals and double entry books of a 19th century merchant house, but also many of the supporting bills and vouchers. The latter are mostly organised by voyage. i.e. Montezuma, 23rd Voyage. Tonawanda 45th. The line made say 600 voyages between 1822 and 1880 nearly all recorded. One 18 inch * 12 * 6 grey archival box holds the contents of say 2-4 voyages. The voyage boxes contain captains' letters, cargo books, freight lists, manifests, crew lists, disbursement lists, passenger lists, and all the supporting bills and vouchers for most voyages. For instance the line retained many returned passenger tickets some of which include intimate messages from successful Irish migrants in Philadelphia to the relatives they planned to bring over. You can therefore see very well how the accounts were organised, and what the partners, captains and clerks had to do. In addition the line left its mark in the Federal records in Philadelphia, which hold almost complete series of impost ledgers and crew lists. Unfortunately although there is a great deal about the partners, there is not much information about the office staff. It should however be able to check the basics. Much of the work was done by junior partners i.e. young family members and a few male clerks. However much was in effect outsourced to other agents. A multitude of Philadelphia firms organised the building, maintenance and provisioning of the ships in Philadelphia. Alexander Brown of Baltimore, provided two ships in the line between, 1822 and 1840, and Brown-Shipley, the Liverpool branch of Alexander Brown, acted as the line's Liverpool agents organising cargoes, and representing the line to the authorities. Liverpool passenger brokers such as Tapscotts administered much of the migrant business. Finally the captains superintended the passages and crew, organised the repairs and provisioning in Liverpool, and assembled all the Liverpool books and vouchers for return to Philadelphia.

Steve Koerner, independent scholar, Canada
'The Rise and Fall of the Daimler Motor Company'
E-mail: stkvi@shaw.ca

The Daimler Motor Co. was Britain’s oldest and also perhaps one of its least studied automobile manufacturers.  Launched in 1892, this company was created as the result of a licensing agreement between German auto pioneer Gottlieb Daimler and British mechanical engineer Frederick Sims.  The company went on to become, together with Rolls-Royce and Bentley, suppliers of luxury cars for the British aristocracy and sundry international plutocrats.  It also produced buses that equipped municipal fleets throughout Britain and the Empire.  In 1910 Daimler was purchased by BSA (Birmingham Small Arms), an armaments firm that had diversified into bicycle and motor cycle manufacturing and later into steel fabrication and machine tools.  Daimler would remain BSA’s single most important subsidiary until it was sold to Jaguar Cars in 1960.
  During the First World War Daimler built a variety of armoured motor vehicles and aero engines for the British military as it would again in the Second World War.  After 1945, the lucrative munitions contracts having dried up, Daimler found itself suffering from a profit squeeze.  The market for the expensive limousines that were its mainstay had nearly vanished in post-war austerity Britain.  In response, at the initiative of Sir Bernard Docker, BSA’s Chairman and Managing Director, during the late 1940s and early 1950s, vast amounts of investment were poured into Daimler’s Coventry factory to allow the introduction of an entirely new line of cheaper priced automobiles designed to try and break into Britain’s burgeoning middle class motor car market.  The new cars were not a great success and Daimler was soon surrounded by a sea of red ink.   As this proposed presentation will explain, the failure of Docker’s strategy would have far-reaching implications for BSA and Daimler, starting with a boardroom putsch launched against Sir Bernard in 1956.  These events also raise questions about the nature and character of Britain’s Board room management during the time in question.

Katherine V. Kreuter, independent scholar, UK
'Shopgirls and Secretaries: How and why Gordon Selfridge created novel opportunities for women in retail employment'
E-mail: kvkreuter@btinternet.com

Much has been written about the way that department stores revolutionised the lives of women, but I am to look specifically at the women who were employed by one of London’s pioneering department stores, Selfridges. It has been said that Selfridge brought with him from American new working practices and thereby impacted the way many shop workers were treated in the UK. He is credited with stopping the "living in" arrangements for clerks and with banning the servility normally expected of workers to their superiors. I would like to investigate if this is really true or if, like so much written by and for department stores, it is as much a "product" being sold as any bar of soap. As well as exploring Selfridge’s actual treatment of women under his employ, I’d place this within the appropriate social and economic context. So I would examine the position of the shopgirl in early 20th century London. These women often occupied a nebulous role, subservient but not servants, employed yet not quite independent. Their growing numbers heightened unease about the growing emancipation of women, and raised questions about their sexual availability. Many of these questions were reflected in the "shop novels" of the period, from Zola’s Au Bonheur des Dames to Arnold Bennett’s Hugo. But shopgirls weren’t the only women employed in the department store, and I will be using evidence from the Selfridge archives to examine the way secretaries and other back-office female employees were treated. An important source here is the diary kept by Selfridge’s secretary, Miss Hilda Mepham, and her role in bringing the first Selfridge biography to print.

Mitch Larson, Ashland University, US
‘What Are We Selling?’ British Affairs and the British Information Service in New York, late 1950s to early 1960s
E-mail: mitchlarson@yahoo.com

My paper will look at the journal "British Affairs" which the British Information Service in New York published during the late 1950s and early 1960s.  The presentation examines the way that publication changed during the tumultuous five years from 1957-1962 as Britain’s role(s) in "Europe" adjusted to the change from that of victorious wartime power whose people "never had it so good" to that of excluded trade partner after the birth of the European Economic Community in the middle 1950s.  As quickly became clear on both sides of the Channel, Britain found itself increasingly marginalized economically as "The Six" flexed their collective economic muscles.  Tentatively titled "What Are We Selling?" the paper will show how the British attempted to make Americans, especially, aware of the benefits of trading with Britain as well as other more general political and economic news from the Sterling area.  Initially the journal featured articles aimed at guiding American businessmen toward doing business with British firms; as time passed, the journal began to include brief historical pieces to emphasize Britain’s cultural heritage as well as broader reports of British activities (often humanitarian or developmental) around the globe.  What caused this shift in focus?  The paper will put this issue into focus by contextualizing the five-year run of "British Affairs" and scrutinize closely the actual contents of the journal to determine its intended audiences and the message(s) the publishers wished to communicate.

Giuseppe M. Longoni, University of Milan and Alberto Rinaldi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
'Industrial Policy and Artisan Firms in Italy. 1945-1971'
E-mail: rinaldi.alberto@unimore.it 

One of the most striking differences between Italy and the other major industrial countries concerns the size distribution of firms. In fact, in the 1990s a staggering 58% of employees in manufacturing in Italy worked in small firms with fewer than 50 employees and 26% in micro-firms with fewer than 10 employees, while the corresponding figures were only 18% and 4% in the USA, 20% and 6% in the UK, 12% and 5% in Germany, and 31% and 5% in France. Some scholars (e.g., Becattini, 1998) argued that state support was negligible and irrelevant to  small firms, whose success was largely market-driven. Conversely, Weiss (1988) maintained that the state played a central role in post war advancement of Italian artisan and small firms, while others (Piore and Sabel, 1984; Arrighetti and Seravalli, 1997) emphasised the role of regional and local institutions that provided artisan and small firms with a range of services and infrastructure that prompted their innovation capacity. This paper investigates – relying on a variety of sources, but principally on the Italian Parliamentary Papers and published and archival materials of the two major artisan associations in the country – the nature, extent and effects of state policy for artisanat from 1945 to 1971. We show – contrary to Becattini and in line with Weiss – that the Italian state carried out a policy for artisanat whose extent had no comparison in Europe. Such a policy was structured on the provision, on the one hand, of lower tax and employers’ contribution and welfare benefits at reduced premiums and, on the other hand, of ‘substitutive factors’: soft loans, services and promotional initiatives by proper state agencies. However, we reject Weiss’s thesis that government action on behalf of artisanat was not the response to the demands of pressure groups but was independently conceived and unfolded by the major governing party – the Christian Democracy – as a coherent implementation of its ideologically based social project aimed at enlarging small ownership in the country. On the contrary, we argue – in line with Arrighetti and Seravalli – that the action of artisan association played an important role in shaping the actual scope of artisan policy. Baccini (2002) observed that, contrary to other European countries, Italian artisan policy did not boost firms’ growth size but pushed them to remain small as the condition to enjoy state benefits was not to the exceed the size limits established by the law to be qualified as artisans. This can help to explain the prevalence of small and micro firms in Italy. However, this must not induce us to infer that the aim of artisan policy was merely to protect an uneasy stratum of marginal firms. Our thesis is rather that the state’s action played a twofold role: partly protecting marginal firms and partly prompting the most promising ventures. Thus, benefits concerning welfare contributions were indistinctly addressed to all artisans, while those concerning income tax and family allowances were explicitly earmarked to smaller (and weaker) artisan firms. These can therefore be rightly considered as measures aimed principally at defending a stratum of marginal firms. Yet, other actions turned out to be very selective and prompted innovation. This is the case of the soft loan scheme: in the period under investigation such loans reached only 14% of eligible artisans and flowed mostly to those areas of the country where artisan firms flourished and multiplied. Loans concentrated in the most prosperous regions of the North and the Centre, while the backward South was clearly penalized. Similarly, no more than 5% of Italian artisan firms – chosen among the most promising ones – benefited of the services provided by the state agencies offering technical, artistic and commercial assistance.

Peter Maw, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
'American Merchants in London and Manchester: Business Networks in the Anglo-American Textile Trades, 1750-1825'
E-mail: P.Maw@mmu.ac.uk

Drawing on business records in both the US and Britain, the proposed paper aims to refine our understanding of the business organisation of Anglo-American trade from 1750-1825, providing a comprehensive analysis of the commercial strategies of American and English textile merchants, including the migrations of American merchants to the leading commercial centres of London and Manchester. Histories of the English textile industries, at least for the period before 1815, have tended to focus primarily on internal developments, especially in those sectors such as technology and finance that are well documented in British primary sources. However, increases in the scale and scope of England’s international were determined as much by external developments as with the adoption of new modes of production in the modernising industrial counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire. By 1750, American traders—the wealthy planters of the southern colonies and the shipping merchants of the middle and northern colonies—generally initiated the commercial transactions with England, utilizing the services a small group of commission agents in London, and to a lesser extent, the outports, who sold American plantation staples on the account of the American principals and filled their orders for European and Asian manufactured goods. As the scale of Anglo-American trade increased in the second half of the eighteenth century and the first quarter of the nineteenth, especially in northern English woollen and cotton textiles, American importers, still acting as principals, adopted a range of commercial strategies to tap the wealth of goods produced in England. First, the American dry-goods merchants began to undertake lengthy commercial tours of the manufacturing regions. This enabled them to bypass the general commission merchants of London and to import goods directly from England’s manufacturing regions that had already achieved a remarkable degree of concentration by the mid-eighteenth century. Second, increases in textile production, encouraged American importers to strengthen their English connections by stationing a permanent partner in England. This spurred the emergence of core of American merchants in Manchester by 1825, a development insufficiently addressed in the current literature. The commercial migrations by American merchants played a key role in shaping the formation of new business networks in Anglo-American trade in this period. Their commercial tours accelerated the emergence of a core of new English export firms in the inland towns of northern England from 1750, allowing merchants in ports to specialise in the provision of shipping and finance, while from 1800, the settlement of American buyers in London and the manufacturing districts allowed Americans, in competition with commercial migrants from Germany and Greece, to purchase textiles on a more flexible basis.

Paolo Di Martino, University of Manchester, and Michelangelo Vasta, University of Siena, Italy
‘Creative destruction’ or ‘destructive creativity’? Italian Firms’ Approach to Industrial Failure and Surviving Strategies, 1920s-1950s
E-mail: P.Dimartino@manchester.ac.uk

About a century ago, Schumpeter’s "creative destruction" idea changed forever the conception of industrial failure, bankruptcies, and companies exit from the market. In Schumpeter’ view, failures and exits are neither signs of an economy’s weakness, nor the result of Darwinian selection among companies competing in a static steady-state-equilibrium scenario. Rather, in a dynamic economic framework witnessing entrepreneur-driven transformations of technologies, of productive processes, and of markets structure, industrial failure is the fundamental "reshuffling" devise necessary to adapt the economy to the succession of different technological regimes. However, this optimist view relies on the assumption that norms and procedures governing bankruptcy and failure are able to operate as efficient screening devices, in other words they are able to select between "worthy" entrepreneurs and companies and to give them a second chance. As a matter of fact, given the irreducible level of risk of any economic activity, waves of bankruptcy generated by the creative destruction phenomenon, involve "good" progressive firms as well as "bad" conservative (and/or incapable and fraudulent) entrepreneurs and companies. This consideration shifts the attention from the macroeconomic Schumpeterian view to a microeconomic perspective, raising a natural question: to what extent were bankruptcy laws and procedures able to accommodate the beneficial impact of creative destruction by providing efficient screening devices and re-starting mechanisms? This paper investigates this so-far neglected problem focussing on the Italian economy between 1911 and the 1950s. Previous studies showed that the formal structure of Italian laws and procedures reflected a punitive approach and was not suitable to play a supportive role (Di Martino, 2005). The inability to provide instruments able to select among failing companies and to promote restart was particularly evident during the major banking crises between the 1880s and the 1930s. (Di Martino, 2004).  This paper considers the issue of whether in Italy efficient institutional mechanisms allow natural creative destruction to select among companies and entrepreneurs, or whether inefficient devices created an artificial room for manoeuvre for "destructive creativity", i.e. un-official ways for un-worthy economic agents to survive. Using official data at national level as well as archival information on Milan and its provinces, this paper aims at providing answers at the following questions: 
1) What was the quantitative dimension of the insolvency problem in Italy?
2) What sort of institutional instruments were available to allow company to re-start after insolvency or to avoid it?
3) How efficient were these institutions? 
4) Did un-official institutions exist as well? How wide-spread was this phenomenon?
This paper contains the first results of an extremely innovative research. On the one hand, it aims at linking together the Schumpeterian idea of creative destruction with the analysis of the working of the institutional (legal) structure. Both subjects have been largely investigated by economic historians and economists alike, but so far no attempt has been made to analyse the two issues together.  On the other hand, this paper looks at the controversial story of the evolution of Italian capitalism, using a new theoretical perspective as well as new evidence.  Building-up on the idea that the analysis of agents sitting on companies’ boards is fundamental to understand the evolution of the industrial structure (Baccini and Vasta 1997, Rinaldi and Vasta 2005), this paper looks at this element to investigate whether "creative destruction" contributed to reinforce the bases of Italian capitalism, or whether capitalists managed to defend their established positions at the detriment of macroeconomic efficiency.

John Mercer, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
'Selling Suffragism: Campaign Retailing by the Militant Women’s Suffrage Organisations'
E-mail: jj_mercer@msn.com 

This paper examines the integrated commodifying and retailing ventures of the militant women’s suffrage organisations, the Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU) and the Women’s Freedom League (WFL). It discusses how these organisations established campaign “brands” that were applied to a range of purchasable commodities. The paper then examines the retailing activities of the WSPU and WFL, charting the opening of campaign shops in London and nationwide from 1908. The functions of these shops are considered, ranging from their roles as propaganda distributors and income-generators to spaces for meetings and office-work – before consideration is given to the formats and identities of these shops. Particularly, the paper will focus on the conventional business identities adopted by most suffrage shops and apparently encouraged by the central leaderships. WSPU and WFL shops centred their formats around acts of purchase, and embraced the superficialities of mainstream commercial activity: their promotion, layout, visual displays, attractive decoration, and range of commodities all pointed to their position alongside conventional shops in the mainstream business community. The significance of these appropriated identities both in terms of WSPU and WFL militancy and the utilisation of women’s perceived role as consumers is then discussed, concluding that these retailing ventures used commercial conventionalities to broadcast a de-radicalised identity and utilise the gendered nature of consumption to draw women into the suffrage movement.

Ichiro Michishige, Toyo University, Japan
'The Shopkeeper and Consumer Society in Eighteenth Century London'
E-mail: mitisige@toyonet.toyo.ac.jp

 In this paper, based on investigation of clothing retailers in eighteenth century London, I try to clarify the role of retailers in the consumer revolution and discern the degree of modernity of eighteenth century London retail shops. In eighteenth century England, there were splendid urban growth and development of shopping area in many towns and retailers of these areas began to display novel goods at their shop windows and tried to sell fashionable things. Especially in London, shopkeepers strongly sensitive to fashion trends. A key to their business success was in understanding fashion trends and keeping up with latest fashions. Active business conduct going along with fashion was decisive for shopkeepers in London and they played an important role in diffusion of new fashion trends.    I have investigated some trade cards of London clothing retailers and business records of a London milliner. They sold diverse clothes and ornaments, but focused their business on preparing and arranging fashionable dresses and hats. The main concern of Mary Holl whose records I have investigated was to provide sales of lace or other ornaments and the service of stitching these ornaments into clothes as well as washing and mending clothes. They tried to provide customer satisfaction by offering services which adopted the latest fashions which also suited customers.    It is also clear from records of Mary Holl or other documents that the outer and inner appearance of shops were important elements to attract potential customers. Show-window displayed diverse goods and a tasteful shop façade of shops could lure customers into the shops. Inside of many shops there was a special space for the favourite customers to rest while shopping. Shopping became a leisure activity in the late eighteenth century; it was a very important business strategy for shopkeepers to enhance customer satisfaction by preparing comfortable space, especially for female customers.    In the late eighteenth century at the onset of the consumer society, shopkeepers in London such as Mary Holl whose customers were mainly the middling sorts of people played a very important role in increasing the consumption and spreading fashion trends.

Peter Miskell, University of Reading, UK
'Uniliver and its Brands Since the 1950s: Competitive Threats and Strategic Response'
E-mail: p.m.miskell@reading.ac.uk

This paper will examine the development of Unilever’s marketing and branding strategies over the second half of the twentieth century within the context of two major challenges to the strength and profitability of its brands in its home (European) markets. The first of these came from increasing competition. The 1950s and 1960s saw leading US multinationals, most notably Procter and Gamble, invest heavily in Western Europe with the result that Unilever’s market shares in product categories such as household detergents were severely eroded. A second challenge facing Unilever’s brands came not from rival producers, but (vertically) from further down the supply chain with the growing market power of retailers. Given the growing power of supermarkets in both the USA and Western Europe in this period, why did neither Unilever nor Procter and Gamble seek to exploit their own corporate names in branding and advertising imagery?  Did Unilever tend to have different brands for each of its products, or did brand names stretch across product ranges? How far was Unilever able to extend its brand names into related product areas or across borders? Indeed, who made the key decisions about the marketing of Unilever’s brands: local managers in national markets or subsidiary companies, or global marketing executives at the corporate head quarters?

Ian Mitchell, independent scholar, UK
'Bazaars and Covered Marts: Innovation in Non-food Retailing in the Early Nineteenth Century'
E-mail: ianandmarym@tiscali.co.uk

The bazaar was a phenomenon of the 1810s and 1820s.  The Soho Bazaar in London, opened in 1816, served as a model for many others.  It provided shop counters, let by the day, to a wide variety of traders. Supporters of bazaars argued that they promoted female and domestic industry by providing an outlet for the products of this, without the need to rent shop premises; that they served the public interest by promoting cheapness; and that they were ‘respectable’.  According to critics they were merely ‘a company or association of hawkers and pedlars’, where goods might be cheap, but were liable to be shoddy.  Some saw them as a threat to established retailers, and suggested that, while fashionable, they also promoted immorality.  For one critic, a bazaar was simply a ‘perpetual fair’. This last comment may be quite close to the mark.  Fairs were not necessarily moribund in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, though they were changing their nature.  Some, at least, remained significant as places where a wide range of cloth, clothing and household goods could be compared and purchased.  And many were famous, or notorious, as places of entertainment.  New premises to accommodate traders at fairs – and at other times of the year – were built in several towns and cities in the early nineteenth century.  Examples include the Union and Commercial Halls at Chester and the New Yorkshire Cloth Hall and Commercial Bazaar at Warrington.  In other places, the building of improved market facilities provided the opportunity to include a bazaar or a covered pedlars’ market.  But whatever name was used, the intention seems to have been to provide more convenient, and perhaps respectable, facilities for small retailers selling basic non-food goods to a growing popular market. It is increasingly clear that the first half of the nineteenth century saw considerable innovation and growth in retailing.  The bazaar phenomenon, and the associated commercial halls and covered marts, was one aspect of this.  In some instances they may provide a transitional format between the fair and the department store or bazaar store.  Others were perhaps a precursor of the late nineteenth century covered market hall.  But bazaars have been little studied and the surviving evidence for how they operated is quite limited.  This paper offers a general survey of bazaars and similar institutions both in London and the provinces, and sets them in the wider context of early nineteenth century changes in retail practice.

Ian Ormerod, independent scholar, UK
'Shops and Cash Registers: Mechanised Accounting before the Computer'
E-mail: ian@ormerod.uk.net

In the last two decades of the 19th century came a development which influenced the way retailers managed their businesses, controlled their finances and introduce new ways of marketing. The invention and development of the cash register and the way in which mechanical and electromechanical accounting systems influenced modern marketing has so far gone largely unrecorded. This presentation will look at the invention of the cash register, its development, the production and marketing philosophy and the resulting influence on businesses in Great Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The inventors and their patents provide an insight into how businessmen often had to develop their own tools to overcome dishonesty and at the same time provide new ways of advertising and marketing their goods. Contemporary glass slides and original photographs, supplemented by movie film from 1920, provide a view of shops and merchants which have long since disappeared. The conference delegates will not only be able to see photographs of these old machines but will be able to examine and operate original machines from the period 1879 to 1971. Drawing on extant documents in the presenter’s collection of material from The National Cash Register Company, and a collection of machines dating from 1879, this presentation will provide some surprising insights into international, national and local trade and the benefits to customers and the merchants alike.

David Patmore, Sheffield University, UK
'The Business of Musical Culture: the British Record Industry and its International Influence, 1925-1932'
E-mail: D.Patmore@sheffield.ac.uk

This presentation will constitute a case study of the two major British recording companies, the Gramophone Company and the Columbia Graphophone Company - each with an increasing international reach - during a critical period in the evolution of the recording industry, 1925-1932. It will focus particularly upon their work in the field of the recording of classical music. This period is bounded initially by the introduction of electrical recording, through which music could at last be recorded with a reasonable degree of verisimilitude. As a result of this technological innovation the market for recordings greatly expanded, in turn driving considerable competition between rival labels. The end of the period under review is bounded by the Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, which severely restricted sales and so led to the merger of the two companies under scrutiny. This resulted in the creation of EMI (the last remaining multi-national company devoted to sound recording), and an effective monopoly in the field of classical music recording. Using detailed material from the EMI Archives the presentation will examine the extraordinary volume of growth achieved by these companies during the later part of the 1920s, the reasons for and nature of their merger, and the ensuing consequences. It will consider the rôles of the two key players leading these organisations – Alfred Clarke of the Gramophone Company and Louis Sterling of Columbia Graphophone – and the effects of increasing internationalisation and monopoly not only upon British musicians but upon received ideas relating to musical interpretation both during this period and beyond.

Ed Petkus Jr,  Ramapo College of New Jersey, US
'The Marketing of Alcoholic Beverages During Prohibition in the United States, 1920-1933: A Value-Chain Analysis'
E-mail: epetkus@ramapo.edu

This paper examines the marketing dynamics of alcoholic beverages in the United States during the Prohibition years of 1920-1933, when the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the manufacture, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages.  Specifically, the applies the value-chain model (Porter 1985) to explicate the strategic and tactical marketing functions that drove the value delivery process and resulted in an elaborate and extensive "underground" marketing system.   This paper argues that core value-delivery functions, including inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service all took on new forms during Prohibition, resulting in a fully-functioning, yet illegal, marketing system.   Illegal domestic production ("moonshining") and distribution (smuggling and "bootlegging"), retail networks ("speakeasies"), and elaborately encoded forms of marketing communication were some of the unique value-chain elements that emerged.  In addition to the modification of the primary value-chain activities, support activities such as general administration and human resource management consisted largely of establishing and managing elaborate networks of bribery and protection.  The fact that the actual consumption of alcoholic beverages was legal during this time both facilitated and complicated the marketing and distribution dynamics.  Ultimately, the impossibility of enforcement and the rise of organized crime that was attributed to the illegal alcohol trade resulted in the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.

Andrew Popp, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
'Commercial Travelling in England before 1850'
E-mail: andrew@popp.fsworld.co.uk 

This paper will use a range of archival and other primary sources to explore the timing and character of the emergence of modern commercial travellers and travelling in England before 1850. Hitherto, historical studies of commercial travelling in England have concentrated on the period from the late nineteenth-century onwards. In contrast, the earlier years have been relatively neglected, with the traditional peddler or bagman commanding far more scholarly attention. In fact the roles of the bagman and the modern commercial travelling are very far removed from each other and should not be confused. Bagmen typically sold from stock petty quantities of goods to final consumers for immediate delivery and for cash. Bagmen also typically worked solely on their own accounts. In contrast, commercial travellers generated far larger volumes of trade with multiple customers who typically were other businesses, primarily other wholesalers and retailers. Travellers sold from samples and pattern books for future delivery. Credit typically played a much larger role than cash in this trade. Travellers were typically also employees of factors, merchants or manufacturers. Commercial travelling has played and continues to play a very important role in the emergence of modern, industrialized consumer societies. The paper will argue that commercial travellers of this description were active on English roads from at least the late eighteenth-century onwards. The paper will seek to explore the emergence of this distinctive figure of modern society and economy. As noted, the paper will use a range of sources. Company archives from industries including pottery, hardware, pins and haberdashery and comprising journey books, letters and diaries will allow for a detailed understanding of how travellers actually fulfilled their role and how they experienced their work. Journalism, speeches and novels will be used to create a complementary picture of the growing place of commercial travel in the consciousness of an industrializing nation, reinforcing how at a relatively early date commercial travellers were an established feature of commercial and popular life in England. In advancing both original empirical knowledge and offering a fresh perspective on the evolution of the distribution system of England during industrialization, the paper responds to a number of themes included in the call for this conference, including; ‘middlemen’ and wholesalers, trade, consumers and consumption, knowledge transfer, and commercial innovation and entrepreneurship.

John Quail, University of York, UK
'Marketing and the Integration of the Firm: Discussions by Writers on Management in the US and UK in the Interwar Years'
E-mail: jq504@york.ac.uk

Marketing can be understood historically either in isolation or as a function of the firm influenced by and influencing in turn other parts of the firm. Studies that take marketing as a distinct function tend to produce histories of marketing techniques and approaches. Understood institutionally, the focus of study becomes the wider reasons for the emergence of marketing and the demands it makes on firm structure and the control of the firm. This paper takes the latter approach and examines some work by management writers in the interwar years. Writing at a time when the modern conception of marketing was developing these writers were conscious variously of the need to create demand, to forecast demand, to influence production to meet demand and to balance operations across the firm using planning and budgetary control. In other words the shift to a marketing conception were seen to bring new complexities to the firm and accelerate the adoption of structures and techniques that could control it. This paper was written as part of the theoretical development of a York University Management School research project, financed by the British Academy, which applies a balanced scorecard approach to appraising the historic development of management capacity in UK firms.

Jim Quinn, University of Dublin, Ireland and Leigh Sparks, University of Stirling, UK
'The Evolution of British Grocery Wholesaling: 1930–2006'
E-mail: james.quinn@tcd.ie 

In the 1930s Britain had an extensive network of around 2,000 grocery wholesalers. These mostly serviced local and regional customer bases of independent retailers that accounted for 54% of the national grocery market. A significant number of these wholesalers had their origins in the revolution in distribution that had taken place in the second half of the 19th century, although some could trace their roots to the 1700s. However, by 2006 grocery wholesaling had been transformed. The wholesalers’ share of market via independent traders had declined to under 15% and the business format had been transformed into cash and carry and voluntary group trading. Furthermore, the number of wholesaling outlets had fallen to below 600 sites, most of which were controlled by a small number of large firms such as Booker, Palmer Harvey and McLane and Bestway. The paper is drawn from a recent study of the evolution of British grocery wholesaling and tracks its structural evolution over a 75+ year period.  It sets out to examine two fundamental questions: what were the main explanatory drivers of evolution and was there any discernable patterns of process? A number of empirical drivers were observed to be significant over time.  Among the most interesting findings were that British grocery wholesaling experienced its most significant structural change over the 1948 to 1964 period and that the primary stimulus for this change came from government activism, not technology. The research strategy was multi-level, multi-modal and longitudinal, using a case-based methodology, and is akin in method and perspective to the contextualist approach developed by Andrew Pettigrew and his colleagues for the Warwick studies on corporate change.  The data were gathered between 2002 and 2006, through archival material and personal interviews.  Data collection was aided by the presence of a significant volume of secondary material available from both archival and academic sources.  A particular trade source (the Institute of Grocery Distribution reports on Grocery Wholesaling started in 1979 and published almost annually since) has been assembled as a data source in one place, apparently, for the first time. The main source used has been the trade magazine The Grocer (see similar use in Shaw et al 2004 and Alexander et al 2005), which has been read in its entirety from 1930 onwards with all references to wholesalers or wholesaling extracted to form a core part of the narrative of the full case.

Alex Ritchie, National Archives, UK
'Researching Business History through the National Register of Archives'
E-mail: alex.ritchie@nationalarchives.gov.uk 

The National Register of Archives (NRA) has been systematically recording manuscript material relating to British history since 1945. It has traditionally been strong in areas such as the personal papers of politicians and other public figures, as well as family and estate collections. However, in recent years it has also enhanced its coverage of business records and now records the content and whereabouts of the records of over 31,000 enterprises of all sizes. This information has largely been drawn from details submitted by repositories as part of their overall contribution to the NRA. It is also based on the results of individual and industry-based surveys conducted by the Business Archives Council and by the Historical Manuscripts Commission. This core of information on business records is supplemented by other material such as the personal papers of individual merchants and businessmen and by the records of over 1,500 trade and employers organisations. Over time the ability of the NRA to identify and describe businesses and their records has improved considerably. The coverage of business has also benefited from general improvements in the collection and delivery of information. Increasingly, there is access, through the Internet, to online catalogues and descriptions of records. This applies not only to collections in the UK, but to material that has been deposited overseas. There remain areas that need further attention, in particular the NRA’s coverage of the corporate archive sector remains patchy. There are also problems in tracing the present whereabouts of companies whose records were surveyed 20 or 30 years ago. However, the overall picture is one of steady, incremental improvement.

Anna Ryzhova,St Petersburg State University of Economy and Finance, Russia
'Comparing the Activities of Royal/Dutch Shell based on the production sharing agreements in Russia and Indonesia'
E-mail: AnnaR2@yandex.ru 

A production sharing agreement (PSA) is a commercial contract between a foreign investor and a host government that replaces country's tax and license regimes. There are some principles underlying the PSA: sharing is made not on profit but on the base of production; the contractor is responsible for the execution of operations, and provides technical assistance and carries the risk of all exploration costs. Since 1966, the Production Sharing agreement (PSA) has been the principal form of cooperation with foreign oil companies for petroleum exploration and production in Indonesia. The oil exploration activities increased after the PSA was introduced. The experience of Indonesia became a valuable model for other countries including Russia. In the beginning of nineteenths Russia opened its gas and oilfields for foreign investors. The government had to choose tax regulations to be applied for foreign investors. Analyzing the experience of oil-exporting counties, the Russian government made a decision to use a production sharing agreement. The conditions of the agreement previously used in Indonesia became the base for legislation. By the volume of investment the most important projects of Royal Dutch/Shell in Russia are the Salym oilfields in Siberia and Sakhalin-II. The exploration of Sakhalin-II is under the conditions of the PSA. The oilfield is the reason for the existence of the Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., owned by Royal Dutch/Shell (55%), Mitsui (25%), and Mitsubishi (20%). Worth approximately 10 billion dollars, the second phase of Sakhalin-II is the single largest investment decision in the history of Royal Dutch/Shell, as well as the single largest foreign direct investment in Russia's history. Sakhalin-II is also the largest integrated oil and gas project in the world. The development of the project, however, faces a number of difficulties. In 2006 unsatisfactory ecological performance proved by results of independent expertise made further exploration of this oilfield by foreign investors doubtful. Another reason for the negative reaction of the Russian government to this project is the general disappointment in production sharing agreements. The aim of this paper is to compare the activities of Royal/Dutch Shell based on the production sharing agreements in Russia and Indonesia. Focusing on the previous experience of Shell in Indonesia we try to analyse current difficulties with the development of Sakhalin-II and predict the future of this project.

Nicole Robertson, University of Nottingham, UK
'Production Without Profit: The Co-operative Movement as an Employer of Labour'
E-mail: ahznr@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk

 The co-operative movement has often described itself as "the watchdog for the consumer".  However, another objective of co-operative economic organisation concerned self-employment, which it defined as the ‘provision of regular employment under good conditions of labour’.   By the twentieth century, the co-operative movement was engaged in a world-wide exchange of products which, it was argued, benefited consumers and workers alike.  The movement was engaged in the production, manufacture and wholesaling of goods for the consumer, employing a large number of people to carry out this work.  By the mid-1950s, in Britain alone, the movement employed almost 400,000 workers.   As such, many people came into contact with the co-operative movement not only as members or customers of their local retail society, but also as employees of the organisation.  Focusing on the period 1918-1960, this paper examines the relationship between the co-operative movement and its workers.   It explores this subject from two main angles.  Firstly, it considers the nature of the relationship between the consumer and the employee within co-operative organisations.  Secondly, it explores the relationship between the co-operative movement and trade unions. The notion of "workers and consumers in partnership", the title given to A.E Oram’s 1950s pamphlet, masks tensions between these two parties.  Such tensions are explored in the first section of this paper.  The co-operative movement encouraged its employees to be actively involved in the management of individual societies, but feared that this would lead to workers fixing wages and conditions at the expense of the consumer.  It was an organisation that was committed to providing fair hours of work for its employees, yet it also had a duty to its consumer-members to provide convenient shopping hours.  The second section of this paper explores how the co-operative movement created an image of itself as an employer that provided the best terms and conditions for its workers.  An examination of this image reveals that in some respects the co-operative movement did lead in this field.  However, this image was one that was challenged by trade unions and the workers they represented.  The relationship between co-operators and trade unionists has received very little academic attention, yet this provides an interesting angle in labour movement history.  Although the co-operative movement insisted all its employees joined a trade union, relations between the two organisations did not always run smoothly, e.g. during the General Strike of 1926.

Janette Rutterford, Open University, UK
'The Company Prospectus: Marketing Shares on the London Stock Exchange'
E-mail: J.Rutterford@open.ac.uk

Today’s new issue prospectuses are lengthy documents, with risk warnings attached and contingent liabilities outlined.  Yet, these detailed prospectuses are rarely seen by the ultimate investors.  Investors nowadays are lucky to see a ‘mini’ prospectus, and rely instead on stockbroker reports or media comment for their investment decisions. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, however, the new issue prospectus was a major marketing tool, printed in large numbers, reproduced in newspapers across the country and aimed specifically at retail investors.   Company chairmen and promoters, merchant bankers, lawyers, accountants and stockbrokers, sometimes with literary experts, collaborated to produce interesting, reassuring, optimistic and sometimes creative documents to attract investors. This paper builds on previous research on financial information available to Victorian investors and on the role of the Stock Exchange in company financing. It explores the history of the new issue prospectus on the London Stock Exchange from the advent of the limited liability company to the stock market crash of 1929.  In particular, the paper examines the changing content of the prospectus over time, as new regulations required improved disclosure; as the increased frequency of new issues led to the establishment of market ‘norms’; and as the types of securities issued changed from ordinary shares to senior securities and less wealthy investors were targeted.  Particular emphasis is given to the importance of industry and geographic data; the choice of capital structure, the quality of accounting information, details of directors and their pay, the role of the financial institutions in underwriting, sponsoring and marketing, as well as the types of financial information and the presence of auditors’ or valuers’ reports.  The paper traces how financial disclosure was in advance of regulatory requirements, being driven by the need to provide valuation metrics for would-be investors.. The paper relies on archives of the new issue prospectuses themselves, on press comment, and on correspondence files relating to company security listings on the London Stock Exchange.  A particularly rich source of data is available in merchant bank archives, such as Rothschild, Barings, and Hambro.  In particular, the Hambro archives include a number of correspondence files between Everard Hambro and company chairmen, with various drafts of the new issue prospectuses concerned and related discussions on legal, financial, accounting, marketing and remuneration issues.  These archives highlight how the prospectus was a compromise between putting the best possible marketing gloss on the company concerned, satisfying Stock Exchange and other regulatory requirements, and adhering to market ‘norms’.  The final product reflected both the preferences of the ‘paternal capitalist’ chairmen for good publicity and cheap financing, and those of the financial community for consistency with previous issues and adherence to Stock Exchange rules and regulations.  Unlike company promoters, merchant bankers such as Hambro had a limited marketing role, relying on company chairmen to provide the necessary company narrative and to produce potential investor lists, and on the press to write positive copy.   Their role was to add status, and hence value, to the new issues with which they were associated.

Jani Saarinen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
'Networks, cartels and innovations in Finland 1945–84'
E-mail: jani.saarinen@vtt.fi

Networks have always played – and still play – an important role in the industrial and entrepreneurial life in Finland. Over the years, networks have been built up for various purposes, usually in order to rationalise the activities of the firms. However, over the years, a wide variety of new kinds of organisational arrangements has been emerged to support innovation. It is not a big secret that the industrial development in Finland before the mid 1980s was characterised by large number of cartels. As cartels became less acceptable, later on even forbidden by the law, other forms of networking increased its importance. Innovative firms confront significant challenges in capturing value from new technology. Success in research and development does not automatically translate into a financial success, even if the technology developed meets a significant market need. To succeed financially, innovative firms must quickly position themselves advantageously in the appropriate complementary assets and technologies. If they are not already integrated, the best solution often involves bilateral and multilateral cooperative agreements.The objective of this paper is to approach changes in collaboration of new product development projects during the period 1945 - 84. In order to achieve the objective, data on some 1600 Finnish innovations commercialised during the period 1945 - 84 is used. The definition of an innovation used in this paper is based mainly on the definitions provided in the OECD’s Oslo Manual. In addition to the changes in collaboration, the paper explores the role of cartels, as one special form of collaboration, in innovation activities of companies. As collaboration takes place during the product research and development process, cartels play a central role on the market side of the innovation process, after the commercialisation of innovation. The paper argues that over the years, there has been a switch in networking activities of the firms. As networks on the markets (=cartels) have decreased, R&D type of networking have become more popular.

Stephen Salmon, Libraries and Archives Canada
‘Lying … Partly Submerged’: Corporate Governance and Insider Networks at Canada Steamship Lines, 1913-1926
E-mail: stephen.salmon@lac-bac.gc.ca  

This paper will analyse the management of Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) during its formative first decade of operation. The company was the result of a series of mergers among Canadian Great Lakes shipping firms between 1910 and 1913 that created a semi-monopoly (100 ships of 200,000 tons) designed to control the trade. I will demonstrate that CSL’s corporate governance structures were primarily designed to profit the insider network who ran the company rather than the firm itself. The development of CSL fits Boyce’s model of information networks external to the firm (Gordon Boyce, Information, Mediation and Institutional Development, 1995) with the exception that the network was based on a widely held publicly traded company. This non-Chandlerian paradigm worked well until the ambitions of key members of CSL’s insider network clashed with the realities of the post-war depression. Between 1916 and 1921 CSL made seven major acquisitions all of which were arranged through the intermediation of members of its insider network. Two of these transactions, the acquisition and restructuring of the Montreal Transportation Company, and CSL’s purchase of ocean going tonnage will be presented as case studies. A detailed study of these transactions will demonstrate that the insider network’s financial abilities were primarily designed to benefit themselves, the executives and directors of the firm, rather than all of the shareholders of CSL. The insider network showed itself adept at many forms of short term asset value enhancement. These included leveraged buyouts, stock manipulation, and fraudulent evaluations. All of these manoeuvres were possible because CSL’s corporate governance structures were designed to strengthen the position of the insider network within the company at the expense of the average shareholders. CSL existed for the network, not the network for CSL. For the members of the various “syndicates” that formed around CSL the company was but an extension of themselves. In this respect CSL could be considered a pre-modern firm. The company only made the transition to modern capitalism under pressure from the New York investment banker who financed its restructuring in 1922. These far reaching reforms to CSL’s corporate governance structures reestablished the company as the foremost Canadian shipping firm operating on the Great Lakes.    

Werner Scheltjens, University of Groningen, Netherlands
'The Diverse Patterns of Shipping and Trade: The Case of the Dutch Arkhangel’sk Trade in the First Decades of the 18th Century'
E-mail: W.F.Y.Scheltjens@rug.nl
 
 In historiography, there is a tendency to analyse the foundation of St. Petersburg in 1703 as the main symbol of the modernization of Russia. Several years before the Peace Treaty of Nystadt was signed and the lands around the Gulf of Finland were actually returned to Russia in 1721, Peter the Great had already founded his so-called ‘window on Europe’. It is a known fact that all levels of Russian society underwent profound changes during the first decades of the 18th century, not in the least part as a result of Peter the Great’s wish to europeanize Russia. These changes also had a large impact on Russia’s direct foreign trade, which until the end of the 17th century was conducted entirely through the White Sea port of Arkhangel’sk. Especially the Dutch had a strong position in this direct foreign trade. In line with the foundation of St. Petersburg, however, major efforts were made to re-direct trade from Arkhangel’sk to St. Petersburg. Not only on the administrative level were these efforts large in scale, the idea of turning St. Petersburg into the ‘Venice of the North’ provoked major infrastructural changes, thus creating the necessary prerequisites to re-address the hinterland of Arkhangel’sk towards St. Petersburg. It goes without saying that the social, political and ecnomic developments of the first decades of the 18th century had a profound impact on all foreign shipping and trade with Russia. In this paper I will focus on the meaning of the foundation of St. Petersburg for Dutch shipping and trade with Arkhangel’sk in the first decades of the 18th century. In concreto, I will analyse the diverse patterns of Dutch shipping and trade in Arkhangel’sk and St. Petersburg, a subject that got my attention while comparing various sources on both Dutch shipping and Dutch trade with Russia in the beginning of the 18th century. The main sources of this paper are unpublished archival materials, such as the so-called schipgeld records and the galjootsgeldregisters, which are both kept at the Municipal Archives of Amsterdam. As a theoretical basis for my analysis I will turn to the analytical framework offered by evolutionary economic geography and that for three reasons. First of all, there is a remarkable resemblance between Sweden’s Derivationspolitik of the late 17th century and Peter the Great’s efforts to re-direct foreign trade from Arkhangel’sk to the Gulf of Finland in the first decades of the 18th century. This calls for attention to what is known as ‘St. Petersburg’s pre-history’, and more specifically to the role of the 17th century Swedish merchant town Nyen which was located on the same place as where St. Petersburg would be founded in 1703. Can shipping and trade patterns in Nyen and Arkhangel’sk and St. Petersburg and Arkhangel’sk be compared? What was the position of Nyen within the trade area of the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland? Does the foundation of St. Petersburg provoke a major change in this situation, or is it rather a continuation of the pattern laid out by the Swedes? Is the foundation of St. Petersburg to be understood rather as an evolutionary than a revolutionary development? Secondly, while a movement of foreign merchants from Arkhangel’sk to St. Petersburg can be traced, as a result of a restrictive policy laid out by Peter the Great, the patterns of Dutch shipping develop quite differently. In fact, shipping records clearly show a pattern shift of Dutch shipping from Arkhangel’sk to Narva, not to St. Petersburg. What is the reason for this development? Can strategies on the microlevel of the actor (shipmaster) give us a lead? Do we have to divide trade networks from shipping networks? And if so, does this have any consequences for the analytical framework offered by evolutionary economic geography? Thirdly, the beginning of the eighteenth century is known as an era of major investments in Dutch shipbuilding. The shipyards in and around Amsterdam had a constant need for wood. At the same time, the introduction of a new, Dutch type of sawmill was seen in the area around the Gulf of Finland early in the 18th century. Is there a link between the changing shipping patterns, the demand for wood and the technological innovations in the area around the Gulf of Finland? While trying to obtain some structural knowledge on early-modern shipping, this paper will at the same time serve as a call towards economic geography as a scientific discipline to incorporate in its analytical framework the rich environment of what Philip E. Steinberg defines as “transportation space”.

Margrit Schulte Beerbühl, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Germany
'Licensed Smuggling during the Napoleonic Wars by Immigrant Merchants'
E-mail: schulteb@phil-fak.uni-duesseldorf.de

About a hundred year ago the well-known, German Historian Gustav Schmoller remarked that the history of the eighteenth-century trade was actually a history of smuggling. This statement applies especially to period of the Napoleonic wars, when a legal trade with the continent was hardly possible. Since at least the early eighteenth century Britain, however, had become heavily dependent on the import of masts, timber, bar iron naval stores and other commodities which it needed for the supply of the navy as well as the industrialisation. The Baltic states including certain parts of Germany were the main suppliers of these materials and the reliance on imports grew during the frequent wars of the eighteenth century. Therefore Britain sought to sustain some sort of trade with the continent and even France despite the reciprocal blockades during the Napoelonic Wars. This clandestine maritime trade was organized through a system of licences which provided the protection of the navy. It allowed merchants to smuggle commodities in and out of the continental countries. The London overseas merchants of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century were a very cosmopolitan group. Among them the German merchants constituted the largest immigrant group and due to their geographical knowledge of the coastal areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea as well as their family connections they helped to organize an illicit trade with the continent. This paper will explore the structure and scope of the commercial networks of the German immigrant group with the blockaded continent during the Napoleonic Wars.

Peter Scott University of Reading and James Walker, University of Reading, UK
'Sources of competitive advantage in the interwar UK department store sector'
E-mail: p.m.scott@reading.ac.uk 

Research on sources of competitive advantage in UK retailing (and other sectors of the British economy) during the early twentieth century has been severely impeded by the lack of good quality statistical data concerning operating costs and productivity for substantial populations of individual firms. This paper draws on what was possibly the most detailed annual establishment-level survey of any British industry prior to 1945. A major annual survey of department store operating costs, conducted by Arnold Plant of the LSE for the Retail Distributors Association, was initiated in 1931, comprising detailed operating costs for over 100 stores during each of seven consecutive years. Contributing stores were responsible for an aggregate annual turnover of over £50,000,000, and employed about 45,000 people. The research draws on both the published surveys, plus surviving individual returns, covering the years 1931 and 1934-6. These provide 216 observations, each classified into over 80 fields – including variables regarding each store’s workforce, region, class of trade, and floorspace, together with detailed data on costs for administration, occupancy, publicity, merchandising, and distribution (each sub-divided into labour and other costs). This dataset, supplemented by evidence from department store archives, provides a unique opportunity to examine factors influencing productive efficiency and growth for a significant sector of UK retailing prior to the Second World War. Particular questions addressed by the paper include: the impact of investment in the `managerial revolution’ on efficiency; returns to advertising expenditure; economies of sale and scope; and the influence of regional and social class variables.

Caroline Shaw, The Rothschild Archive, UK
'Tracing Networks in the Rothschild Archive'
E-mail: caroline.shaw@rothschild.co.uk

This paper intends to trace some of the networks which operated for the highly successful Rothschild banking businesses, and hopes simultaneously to highlight some of the rich veins of original material in The Rothschild Archive for business – and other – historians.  Key themes will be the importance of family and social networks, and developing international networks. The paper will give a brief history of the Rothschild businesses, from their beginnings in the Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt, through their dominance of 19th century international financial markets across the world, to the vicissitudes of the 20th century.  The paper will also give a brief description of the collections and resources of The Rothschild Archive, itself no stranger to the effects of Nazi looting and Cold War politics. The early development of the international Rothschild business is an excellent example of a family network in action, and can be traced through the early 19th century correspondence of the five Rothschild brothers, based in Frankfurt, Vienna, London, Naples and Paris.  The first members of the family to leave the ghetto, they wrote to each other incessantly: much of this correspondence is preserved at The Rothschild Archive, and will shortly be made available online through one of the Archive’s several ongoing projects. The importance of reliable information networks became an entrenched feature of the Rothschilds’ way of doing business.  The Archive contains a remarkable number of series of material from trusted correspondents based in markets across the world, from Amsterdam to Rio de Janeiro.  Their correspondence reveals not only prices of commodities and financial instruments in these markets, but also political and broader economic developments.  An ongoing project to make correspondence concerning Brazil available online will give a cross-section of these international relationships – from news of the declaration of Brazilian independence in 1822, to telegrams announcing 20th century revolutions from an agent ‘embedded’ in the highest circles of Brazilian affairs of state. One of the exciting synergies created by the way the collections of the Archive have developed, encompassing family as well as business records, is the possibility for researchers to observe how social and business worlds mesh and mingle.  From sources as diverse as visitors books, family correspondence and account ledgers, fresh light can be shed on many transactions.  The role of the Rothschild women, Rothschild art collections, Rothschild gardens and Rothschild hospitality, in developing networks are all subjects which can be traced in the Archive.

Gareth Shaw, University of Exeter and Andrew Alexander, University of Surrey, UK
'The Coming of the Supermarket: the Processes and Consequences of Transplanting American ‘Know How’ into Britain'
E-mail: G.Shaw@exeter.ac.uk 

This paper explores the transfer of self-service and supermarket techniques from America into Britain during the period c1945-1975.  It focuses both on the processes of knowledge transfer and on the consequences of the self-service innovation in British food retailing.  In terms of the former particular attention will be given to a discussion on the types of knowledge and more especially a detailed analysis of the importance of interlocking directorships in the process of knowledge transfer.  The consequences of supermarket development will be examined from both retailer and consumer perspectives. The context of the paper is based around two major research projects, namely the ‘Coming of the Supermarket’ (funded by Leverhulme Trust) and on-going work focussing on consumer responses to self-service methods (funded by AHRC).  The latter draws on recently undertaken oral histories and a national consumer survey, which highlights reactions towards self-service along with changing shopping strategies. The paper attempts to draw together both the production and consumption aspects of the transfer of a major retail innovation.

Gregory Shealy, **
'Reaping Profits from Agricultural Fairs and Congresses: An Alltagsgeschichte of the German Exhibitors of American Harvester Companies'
E-mail: gpshealy@students.wisc.edu 

Alex Legge, one of the International Harvester Company’s German agents, reported to the Chicago home office that “The ancient custom of holding regular market days is still maintained in nearly all parts of Europe, consequently the public are accustomed to transact business in this manner, and they take these exhibitions, you might say, more seriously than do the American public.”  Fairs, expositions, and agricultural congresses served a primary role in American harvester firms’ entrance into the European marketplace.  McCormick and Hussey first brought the machine to Europe through the 1851 London Exposition, and the companies continued to participate in them throughout the long nineteenth century.  These fairs were the sites at which the American companies tried to demonstrate the value of mechanically harvesting grain, and where the companies’ jobbers and branch agents persuaded implement dealers to carry their line.  This paper focuses on the activities of the McCormick Harvesting Company and the International Harvester Company during its expansion into Europe from 1885 until 1914. Most previous historical studies of these expositions focus on the cultural presentations of race and nationality present in the exhibits, while the few historians who do emphasize on the business aspects of these fairs usually focus on the macro-strategy of the corporations rather than reconstructing the individual experiences of the dealers, jobbers, and technical experts who ran the fairs.  This paper fills this critical gap in the historiography by examining the ways in which fairs served as a way to link European consumers and local implement dealers to larger American manufacturers, and look at the daily tasks and jobs of the individual exhibitors who took part in these shows.  It begins by briefly explaining how the American companies’ managers understood the roles that trade fairs played in their overall corporate strategies.  The companies used these fairs as spaces in which to advertise, meet European dealers, and work out understandings on price with their competitors.  The paper’s main focus, however, will be on the individuals who worked in these important spaces.  The company accorded its exhibitors with the responsibility of linking distant American multinationals to their network of European dealers and customers.  This study examines those qualities the American companies looked for in the experts they would send overseas; the daily activities of the exhibitors; how the companies designed their pavilions; and demonstrates the extent to which these exhibitors utilized a variety of ethically questionable methods (such as bribery) in their daily job duties.  To answer these questions, this paper employs the methodology of such cultural historians as Alf Lüdtke and David Blackbourn in recreating a ‘small piece’ of the larger story of the expansion of transatlantic trading networks.  It examines the everyday life of these important individuals whom the harvester companies tasked with adding European farmers and dealers to the American multinationals.

Teresa da Silva Lopes, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
'Brand Strategies in Multinational Food and Drink'
E-mail: t.lopes@qmul.ac.uk 

Despite comparative decline in overall competitiveness in the twentieth century, it is not well known that British firms remain highly competitive in global markets for branded consumer goods. Why this is so remains unclear. This study assesses historic British capabilities and institutional supports which helped firms in consumer goods industries, in particular food and drink, to achieve success in terms of global brand competition. The study provides a broad overview of the strategies followed by leading British multinationals and their predecessors – such as Cadbury Schweppes, Diageo, Unilever, and Rowntree - in the management of their brands globally. It also compares these brand strategies with those followed by their global competitors, leading multinationals from other countries – such as Nestlé and Procter & Gamble. It also assesses the role of institutions in that development, and in particular in helping firms protect their trademarks internationally. Drawing on original archival research and also secondary sources (such as newspapers, and company and brand histories), this study aims to understand whether firms’ strategies that have made some British consumer goods brands significant contributors to national competitiveness are nation specific and still applicable in today’s global business.

John Singleton, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
'The Direction of Central Banks in the Twentieth Century: What, if anything, did central bankers have in common'?
E-mail: John.Singleton@vuw.ac.nz

Central banks play a vital role in the modern economy. Since the early twentieth century, if not before, they have occupied a strategic position ‘between governments and banks’. As bankers’ banks, they have offered secure settlement (and sometimes payment) facilities to the commercial banking sector, and at times of crisis have intervened as a lender of last resort. As government banks, they have been monetary policy agencies, guardians of financial stability, regulators, issuers of currency, and providers of various banking services. Although there has been considerable variation in the range of activities performed by individual central banks, it is evident that central banking has been and remains a complex and diverse business. Highly diverse businesses are notoriously hard to manage. Special characteristics served both to exacerbate and to mitigate the challenges of managing central banks. On the one hand, central banks have frequently lacked clear objectives. On the other hand, they have been cushioned from competitive forces, and have been able to rely on the loose budget constraint accompanying ready access to seigniorage revenue. What sorts of people have managed the world’s central banks during the last hundred years? This exploratory study focuses on how the attributes and performance of central bankers have been perceived by scholars (and other informed observers), as well as on how central bankers have tried to explain and justify themselves. Some patterns do emerge: central bankers have tended to become more open and less secretive; they have also become more reflective and sophisticated in their economic reasoning. Is there a typical central banker? Since Rogoff introduced the term in the mid-1980s, the ‘conservative central banker’ has often been regarded as an ideal. If non-specialists think of central bankers at all, they probably do regard them as ‘conservative’ in a general sense. Yet Rogoff and many economists in the 1970s and early 1980s were inclined to see them as the compliant tools of opportunistic governments and/or as craven seekers of short-term popularity. In other words, central bankers appear not to be all alike, and the assessment of their performance depends to a large extent on the perspective of the observer. Central bankers have been portrayed in different contexts as radical and conservative, compliant and rebellious. They have been praised as gurus or devoted public servants, and condemned as villains or rent-seeking bureaucrats. They must have been a varied bunch if these impressions are to be believed. Diverse they certainly were, but central bankers of all sorts increasingly saw themselves as members of an international community of specialists, a vision which became stronger as the century progressed.

Sally Sokoloff, University of Northampton, UK
‘How Many Germans Equal a Pig?’  World War One and Retail Food Businesses in Northamptonshire'
E-mail: Sally.Sokoloff@northampton.Ac.Uk

This paper considers the impact of the first British ‘Total War’ on retail businesses through a study of one county.  It focuses on retail butcher and baker businesses in towns and villages in Northamptonshire and on their male employees.  Male bakers and butchers and their workers were subject to conscription into the armed services from 1916-1918, if they had not volunteered to fight already.  Encroaching state controls over the farming and the processing sector, and patriotic public campaigns about food consumption, also affected their businesses and markets during the war. Taking Northamptonshire as a case study, the main source for the study is the appeal papers that men submitted to the Military Service Tribunals to ask for exemption from conscription.  Bakers and butchers provided detailed evidence of the functioning of their businesses and a rationale for their survival, as well as putting the case for them being personally ‘spared’ military service, to the Tribunals and there is much discussion of the fate of businesses and shops.  Local communities also had the chance to present their view of retail outlets to the Tribunals that had the difficult task of reconciling local needs and personal cases with the direction of men into the Army.  Gendered viewpoints about who should and could do the work of a butcher or a baker run through these discussions.  Debate about particular cases within communities, in the Tribunal hearings, and in the local press, reveal the growing importance of people’s assent to this gruelling war being conditional on the authorities’ consideration of their daily needs on the Home Front, down to the local supply of meat and bread. The study will conclude by considering the results of the war on this part of the retail sector.  Were butchers and bakers in Northamptonshire successful in securing the continuity of their occupations and businesses?  Or did the First World War accelerate the trend towards large meat suppliers working through branch shops and the rationalisation of bakeries?

Jon Stobart, University of Northampton, UK
'In and out of fashion? Advertising novel and second-hand goods in Georgian England'
E-mail: Jon.Stobart@northampton.Ac.Uk

Historians of consumption have placed great emphasis on the growing importance of fashion as a stimulus to demand in eighteenth-century England. For McKendrick (1982), the ‘hypnotic effects of fashion’ were central to processes of social emulation and class competition: it was part of conspicuous consumption, designed to underline wealth and augment social standing. In doing so, fashion built on notions of taste and distinction – not, perhaps the ‘difficult’ consumption that we associate with Bourdieu’s (1984) theorisation, but a means of codifying goods as elite, rare and discriminating. Indeed, Simmel (1971) defines fashion precisely in these terms: the coding of objects in order the claim membership of particular (elite) groups. This coding, according to Berg (2005), built on notions of taste and the sensuality of goods; on the idea of novelty and newness, and on the ability to imitate and assimilate new goods into established genres. Yet the idea of fashion – with its connotations of tasteful, new, ‘networked’ goods – brought with it the corollary that other goods would be out of fashion. These are often seen as occupying a distinct circuit of exchange – the second-hand market – which gave poorer sections of society the opportunity to engage in ‘fashionable’ consumption and to own goods which were, more or less, fashionable (see Lemire, 1991). This lower tier was linked to the consumption of fashionable new goods through common cultural values (not least the importance of fashion) and through the flow of goods from the upper to the lower tier. But it was differentiated by financial barriers, social distinctions and geography. These divisions can be too easily overplayed: they were often linked together through the activities of buyers and sellers, both of which groups could be intimately engaged in both first-hand and second-hand circuits of exchange (Stobart, 2006). In this paper, I want to explore the ways in which they were linked together through the practices and ‘virtual’ spaces of newspaper advertisements. Both the London and provincial press carried a growing number of advertisements in the eighteenth century, many of them placed by shopkeepers. These drew on and promoted the idea of fashion as a key selling point, both for goods and for the shopkeepers themselves. Indeed, the construction of the shopkeeper as a conduit or even arbiter of taste and fashion is a key aspect of these advertisements. In both respects, connections with London were often portrayed as central in defining fashionability. At the same time, newspapers also carried advertisements for second-hand goods, so that new and used: in and out-of fashion were juxta-posed on the page of the broadsheet. Moreover, the two could be linked together in the same advertisement as tradesmen and women advertised both new and used goods for sale at their shops. This served to blur the distinction between new and old; novel and established; fashionable and unfashionable. It also questions the established motivations for buying second-hand goods (usually seen in economic terms) and the centrality of fashion to eighteenth-century consumption.

Mika Suonpää, University of Hull, UK
'British enterprise in Southeast Europe and attitudes to Balkan Slavs as business partners, 1878-1914'
E-mail: M.Suonpaa@hull.ac.uk 

My paper examines reasons for comparative lack of British trade and investment in the Balkans (primarily in Serbia and Bulgaria), and investigates British reactions to difficulties in commercial contacts in the region, ultimately considering how the “commercial aptitude” of Serbs and Bulgarians was regarded by British diplomats, merchants, and investors. British views were shaped by three mercantile activities: proposals to establish banks and commercial agencies, participation in competitions for government contracts and concessions, and conducting of day-to-day trade. The existence of vast unexploited natural wealth, increased post-1880 demand for manufactured goods, relative geographical closeness after improvements in the transport network, and economic growth in the host countries increased British commercial interest towards the Balkans. Methodologically, the discussion is situated within the framework of cultural otherness, viewed in the context of commercial encounters. The paper is divided into three parts. First, the lack of British investment is examined in the context of foreign capital flows to the Balkans: how far was the absence of British investment explainable by the “image” of the Balkan Slavs in terms of commercial morality and trustworthiness? Second, the extent to which British unwillingness to invest impeded British firms’ ability to obtain lucrative concessions is considered. Finally, the ways in which the encounters of British merchants with local customs authorities shaped British views about Balkans Slavs as trading partners is investigated? British investors and diplomats believed that in commercial matters the Balkan Slavs were dishonest, unreasonable, incompetent and xenophobic. British firms rarely wanted to involve Balkan businessmen in their ventures, and, even though the importance of having local agents and contacts with local banks was acknowledged, they were often regarded by British firms as fraudulent and unreliable. Furthermore, the perceived anti-foreignism – often regarded as a major part of the “national character” in the Balkans – was seen as the key factor diminishing the value of the Balkans as an attractive area for investment. Consequently, the lack of British interest in providing Balkan governments with state loans resulted in the inability of British firms to acquire concessions and government contracts which had a negative effect on British trade. British merchants often complained about the “unfair” treatment they had received in the hands of Balkan customs authorities. This was especially the case from the 1880s onwards when former Turkish trade agreements were abolished, and the Balkan governments were able to use restrictive measures to protect home industries. Sudden duty increases and unexplained fines inflicted on British exporters were regarded by them as “arbitrary measures”, specifically directed against British merchants, which, it was believed, seriously damaged British trading interests in the region, and contributed to the impression of unreasonableness, untrustworthiness and anti-foreignism of the Balkan Slavs. Thus, in addition to economic and financial factors, negative attitudes and political risks importantly contributed to the lack of British commerce in the Balkans, and strengthened already powerful stereotypically disapproving perceptions. In terms of sources, my paper is at present based primarily on British firms’ complaints to Foreign Office and on British diplomats’ commercial correspondence with London. I have used some material of the London committee of the Ottoman Bank, and I will in future add more material from companies such as Vickers Sons & Maxim, Sun Insurance, Lever Brothers, etc., who all had business contacts in the Balkans.

Stuart Sweeney, Oxford University, UK
'Military Railways in India 1875-1914: Globalization and Guns'

E-mail: lynne@gagliano.fsnet.co.uk

 Indian railways represented by far the largest single item of British foreign direct investment during the period of empire. Some £200 million was invested by an amalgam of state, private, and government guaranteed companies up to the outbreak of the First World War. Private rail promoters and financiers had the advantage of being able to point to commercial, famine protection, and military rationales for this investment programme. The British government often failed to scrutinise the business propositions closely. They assumed that the benefits overall would justify the outlay of Indian taxpayers money. WJ Macpherson, who looked at an earlier period of Indian rail investment, viewed the military/strategic rationale, after the Indian Mutiny, and in the face of mounting Anglo Russian tension, as the main driving force behind government support. In the period after 1875 these tensions mounted, and a new generation of government guaranteed Indian rail companies, based in London, were able to press the links between trade and peace. In Upper Burma the lands annexed in 1885 would be connected with Indian ports for trade and commerce via a number of railways companies, so strengthening the defence against French and Russian forces in South East Asia. The Bengal North Western and Burma Railways were financed through Rothschild’s in London on the basis that they facilitated troop movements to military fronts and encouraged trade. Government facilitated improved revenues for all these companies, in a covert manner, which maintained their financial integrity while allowing them to maintain the public persona of ‘laissez faire’ capitalism. In the process, government guarantees and funding were kept off the fiscal deficit of the Indian and British Governments, not unlike modern approaches to dealing with Eurostat and EU/Maastricht guidelines. The railways encouraged rapid exports of primary product from internal areas to ports, to be traded for British manufactures, so helping to facilitate the first period of ‘globalization’. Meanwhile the Great Game could be fought with adequate troop mobility, and the Afghan people could observe the superior investment and technology provided by the British, and forge trading links with Calcutta and London.  However, behind these large commitments lay the Indian taxpayer as ‘lender of last resort’. Writers like Nairoji, Dutt and Wacha began to point to the extravagance of military railways, and the lack of investment elsewhere, in manufacturing, education, and irrigation. Railways elsewhere promoted growth through the standard accelerator and multiplier effects, but in India the ‘Buy British’ approach negated these benefits. This model of ‘secure globalization’, pursued by the British through the railways, met the impediment of Indian poverty. This could no longer be ignored as catastrophic famines occurred and the Russian strategic menace appeared to wane after their disastrous defeat to Japan.

Steven Toms, University of York and David Higgins, University of York
'The Determinants of Competitive Advantage: British Evidence on Corporate Success, 1945-1984'
E-mail: st27@york.ac.uk

There has been considerable debate on the performance of the British economy since 1945. The majority of studies have concentrated on macroeconomic performance and/or the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.   Fewer have examined the financial performance of individual firms’ or of the corporate economy as a whole.  This study takes a sample of c.3000 firms in 19 industries and identifies Britain’s best performing companies, in terms of ROCE,  over the period 1950-85. The results question the reliance on traditional typologies of business success, especially  given the onset of deindustrialisation from the 1970s.  Our findings also contribute to Resource Based Perspectives of the firm  because particular emphasis is devoted to understanding why some of the best-performing companies in our sample were located in ‘under-performing’ industries. This latter finding simultaneously undermines the importance of structural determinants of industrial performance and shifts the emphasis firmly towards an understanding of why some firms in the British economy have been consistently more succesfful than others. A broader research agenda for British business history is thereby  suggested.

Lídia Torra, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
'Credit networks and informal links among merchants, textile retailers and peddlers in Catalonia (17th- 19th centuries)'
E-mail: lidia.torra@upf.edu 

The paper focuses on the development of credit by merchants and Textile retailers in Barcelona from a sample of post-mortem inventories covering the period 1650-1810. Attention is paid to aspects of this development, in particular the setting up of credit networks encompassing Barcelona’s merchants and other dealers located in small and medium size Catalonia towns, and in other cities in the rest of Spain. These credit networks promoted the integration of the Catalan market and increased the consumption of Textile goods among large sections of the population.

 Aashish Velkar, London School of Economics, UK
'Competition, Coordination and Standardization: Emergence of the British Standard Wire Gauge c1883'
E-mail: A.Velkar@lse.ac.uk

Interchangeable manufacturing depends on ‘making things the same’ – i.e. using standardized parts. British manufacturers adopted interchangeable manufacturing techniques gradually in the late nineteenth century, somewhat later than their American counterparts. Although, historians have proposed various reasons for this relatively late adoption, one aspect that has not been investigated is the impact of foreign trade on standardization of British manufacturers. Recent research on standardization as a competitive strategy argues that a ‘standards battle’ triggers more intense price competition, whereas firms follow less aggressive strategies if they compete within a single standard . However, standardization or standard-switching involves overcoming excess inertia and other coordination issues  and industries can get locked into ‘wrong’ standards due to technical interrelatedness . Victorian markets were not an arena for neutral exchanges and the state was involved in many aspects, including the standardization of British manufacturers. Thus, the boundaries of state involvement and the influence of competition on standardization of interchangeable parts raises some interesting issues on whether interchangeability was the result of de jure or de facto standardization. I have explored these issues using a historical case of the standardization of the wire gauge in late nineteenth century Britain. Uniformity in wire sizes - used in telegraph and electric cables, pin and needle making, fencing wire, spectacles and watch springs, and a variety of other uses - depended upon the use of standardized wire gauges. In 1879, around 55 distinct wire gauges were identified of which 45 were used in Britain alone. Early attempts to standardize the gauges between the 1840s and 1870s remained unsuccessful. The large buyers of wire and the telegraph engineers proposed standards in the 1870s, which were not adopted by the wire making firms. In the 1880s, facing stiff competition from German makers of wire products, using a standard wire gauge, the British wire makers decided to coordinate efforts to establish a standard gauge. However, the various industry groups could not agree on a common standard. This issue was then taken to the Board of Trade, who acted as an arbitrator between the groups and a standard wire gauge emerged in 1883. These events raise several questions. For instance, why did the buyers begin to demand standard wire sizes in the 1880s? Why did the wire makers begin to coordinate efforts to establish a standard gauge in the 1880s, but showed no interest in the standardization attempts made during the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s? What can explain the failure between the various groups to agree on a common standard? What role did technology and competition play in determining the standard that eventually emerged? To what degree was the intervention by the government in setting a de jure standard an efficient outcome? These are the various issues that I explore in the paper. The explanation for these events is not straightforward. I argue that standardization of parts was a strategic response to reduce monitoring costs where such parts were exchanged through market transactions. Further, the trade, when faced with increasing competition, preferred to operate within standardized product markets and standardized parts acted as commitment mechanisms to prevent reneging firms in engaging in (covert) price competition. Finally, coordinating the actions of diverse groups is achieved not only through non-cooperative, neutral, market-mediated exchanges, but often involves a negotiated settlement involving trade associations. Where negotiations are not successful, setting a de jure standard by an arbitrator could be an effective means of solving coordination failures.

Maggie Walsh, University of Nottingham, UK
'From Ironbridge to Teddy Bear and Friends: Aspects of the Twentieth Century British Soft Toy Industry'
E-mail: Margaret.Walsh@nottingham.ac.uk

In one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution the manufacture of soft toys became one of the light industries which prospered and then adapted to survive. At Ironbridge Merrythought became a leading soft toy company, with for a while the doll firm of Norah Welling and later Golden Bear nearby. In similar circumstances Deans, formerly of Harborne, Birmingham, relocated to Wrexham and also adjusted to changed manufacturing and marketing conditions.
 The British soft toy firms could compete in design and could produce quality products for niche markets, but by the 1980s and 1990s could no longer produce popular items in the face of cheap mass products manufactured in the Pacific Rim. While such firms had never relied on mass sales at the cheap end of the market, globalisation forced these firms to rely on their names, their designers and collectors of experience, highly crafted items, often sold on the basis of relatively small limited production runs. For this the toy industry was assisted by the development of specialist magazines, special offers to those in companies’ members’ clubs and highly attractive new designs or replicas of old or famous toys.

David Williams, University of Leicester and John Armstrong, Thames Valley University, UK
'A New and Modern Business: Steam Shipping, 1812-1840'
E-mail: dmw@le.ac.uk and john.armstrong@tvu.ac.uk

This paper is about the introduction, early progress and impact of the steamship up to 1840. Given this, the title’s opening phrase “A new and modern business” might appear as gloss, however, its wording had been deliberately chosen to emphasise what we regard as very special characteristics of the early steamship.  In the past there has been a tendency to view the early steamship as merely taking over some of the functions of sailing vessels.  There is an element of truth in this but far more significant is that the steamship created new business in the form of passenger trade and recreational travel and that its operation required a new set of economic considerations and management skills.  The costs of steam shipping, capital and running, were new and different.  Likewise the operation of liner services, the need to take account of depreciation and coming to terms with competition between costly enterprises all necessitated the acquisition of new management techniques.  In these respects the steamship was new and modern and preceded - by some twenty years - the railway which has been traditionally held up as the originator of new business practices and the harbinger of modernity in such matters as attitudes to time, distance, the discipline of regularity and technology. 

John F. Wilson, University of Central Lancashire and Andrew Thomson, Open University, UK
'A Framework for Analyzing the Development of Management: a Comparative Perspective Using Key Drivers, c 1950'
E-mail: jfwilson@uclan.ac.uk

This paper identifies a comprehensive range of ‘drivers’ which have influenced the development of managerial capitalism, and uses these to create a matrix in which Britain can be compared with its main competitors at a particular point in time, in this case 1950. 31 ‘drivers’ are categorized into three groupings, namely market-cum-technological, institutional/cultural, and business policy and practice, and the situation in 1950 for each country, namely Britain, the United States, Germany, and Japan is briefly described, along with a description of the way in which the driver impacts on the development of management. The outcome of these comparisons is a clear difference between the British case and the other three countries. A second comparative method of reflecting on the drivers, through use of force-field diagrams, is also referred to. Finally, the paper muses on whether these means of analyzing the past can also be used to consider the future.  

 

  

FEES AND INFORMATION

FEES

PAYMENT

BURSARIES

INFORMATION FOR DELEGATES

***

FEES

ABH membership:

Annual:             UK members - £ 10; international members - £ 15

Triennial:             UK members - £ 27; international members - £ 40

Conference registration

2 days, ABH members or CHORD network members*  - £ 100

2 days, non- ABH members or CHORD network members - £ 120

2 days, postgraduates** ABH or CHORD network members - £ 70

 

1 day, ABH members or CHORD network members - £ 80

1 day, non-ABH members or CHORD network members - £ 100

 * Have you participated in a CHORD event since its inception? If the answer is yes, you are entitled to the reduced fee. Of course, you are still welcome to join the ABH should you wish to, and enjoy all the benefits of membership!! To find out more, please see: http://www.busman.qmul.ac.uk/abh/membership.htm

** Please provide proof of postgraduate status, e.g. photocopy of dated student card or letter signed by supervisor. To qualify for the reduced rate you must either be an ABH or a CHORD network member

Conference dinner at Novotel Hotel Friday 29 June

Dinner - £ 25  

 Accommodation

Option 1 - Friday 29 June Novotel Hotel,

En-suite, Bed & Breakfast - £ 70 per person

Accommodation (En-suite, Bed & Breakfast) on Thursday  28 June and Saturday 30 June is also available at the Novotel for £ 76 per person per night. However, please note that this is available for a limited period only. You are strongly advised to book as soon as possible! 

Option 2 - Friday 29 June University of Wolverhampton hall of residence

En-suite, Bed only - £ 26.50 per person

If you also require accommodation on Thursday 28 June and / or Saturday 30 June, please contact the conference organiser at L.Ugolini@wlv.ac.uk  

***

PAYMENT

Please make cheques payable to 'the University of Wolverhampton' and send to the address below. If you wish to be invoiced or to pay by credit card (most major credit cards are accepted), or if you have any queries, please contact:

Laura Ugolini, HAGRI / HLSS, University of Wolverhampton, Room MC233, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SB.

E-mail: L.Ugolini@wlv.ac.uk

***

BURSARIES

It may be possible to offer bursaries to students attending the conference, covering the fee and subsidising travel expenses. This will depend on the success of grant applications to various bodies - which of course is by no means guaranteed. To apply, please fill in the Bursary application form available from the conference web-pages, or request a copy from the address above. But please note that all bursaries will be granted as refunds after the conference, and all delegates are expected to pay registration and other fees before the conference. You should also note that grants towards travel are not likely to be for more than c. £ 100 each, and may be considerably less.

***

CONFUSED?

If you have any queries, or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Laura Ugolini, HAGRI / HLSS, University of Wolverhampton, Room MC233, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SB.

E-mail: L.Ugolini@wlv.ac.uk

***

INFORMATION FOR DELEGATES

The following information is also available as a word document HERE

THE VENUE - THE SCIENCE PARK

The conference venue is the University of Wolverhampton Science Park’s 'Technology Centre' building (marked PA on the 'Science Park' map). On arrival, please make your way to the Reception. Registration will take place in the Technology Centre’s main foyer between 9.30 and 11.00 on Friday 29 March. Refreshments will be available in the dining area. The conference will begin at 11.00, with a plenary session by Prof. Roy Church, UEA. All the conference sessions will be located in the Technology Centre building. All the rooms are clearly sign-posted.

 The Wolverhampton Science Park is situated on Glaisher Drive, just off the Stafford Road (A449). It is a 30-minute walk from Wolverhampton city centre. If you are travelling by road, see the 'Region' map. If travelling by public transport, see the 'Wolverhampton' map.

 Car park spaces are available on site, and buses 532 and 533 run every 10 minutes from the bus station and along the Stafford Road to a stop just outside the Science Park. The buses depart from stand S at the bus station, and a single ticket costs £ 1. Please note that drivers do not give change! (Buses 503, 504 and 506 will also take you from the bus station to the Science Park, but via a slightly less direct route). The bus station is located a couple of minutes' walk from the railway station. Simply follow the road out of the station, across the bridge, and you will see it on your left.  A taxi rank can also be found outside the railway station.

 Taxis will be booked at the end of each day to ferry delegates to their accommodation or other destinations in the city centre.

 The Science Park's web-pages can be found at:

http://www.wolverhamptonsp.co.uk/FrameIndex.htm

 If you need to contact the organisers during the conference, please leave a message with the Science Park’s reception. The number is: 01902 824007.

 Further information for visitors to the University of Wolverhampton, including maps and travel links, can be found on-line, at http://www.wlv.ac.uk/Default.aspx?page=6853

More general information about Wolverhampton can be found on the Visitor Information Centre’s web-pages, at http://www.wolverhampton.tic.dial.pipex.com

 EQUIPMENT AT THE SCIENCE PARK

Speakers please note that LCD projectors and computers will be available (as well as OHPs) for powerpoint presentations. However, if your presentation has special features (e.g. animation, etc.), you are strongly advised to bring your own laptop, to ensure that all the software is available.

 ACCOMMODATION - NOVOTEL AND HALLS OF RESIDENCE

For the location of the Novotel Hotel, see http://www.novotel.com/novotel/fichehotel/gb/nov/1188/fiche_hotel.shtml then click on 'Location and Access'. The Novotel is located on Union street, less than five minutes' walk from the railway and bus stations.

The hotel's telephone number is 01902 871100.

To reach the hotel by foot, follow the road out of the railway station. You will see a multi-storey car-park on your left. Take the footpath on your left just after you have passed the car-park. Follow the footpath, keeping the ring road to your right, until you see the hotel ahead, behind St David's Court. Although the hotel is very close to the station, we would recommend taking a taxi if you are arriving in Wolverhampton late in the evening, rather than taking the footpath. When you check in you simply need to give your name and mention that you are part of the 'Business Links' conference group.

 The University halls of residence accommodation is located in the 'North Road Halls of Residence'. See the 'Halls' map.

The halls are located a 15-minute walk away from the rail and bus stations. Buses 532 and 533 also stop nearby (please ask for the stop nearest the Asda supermarket).

When you arrive, please make your way to the ‘Residential Services Reception' on Lomas Street. You simply need to give your name, and will receive your key. Out of office hours, the reception is staffed by security personnel.

Please note that hall of residence accommodation is on a bed-only basis. Teas/coffees and pastries will be available on Saturday morning at the Science Park, but for those who would like a more substantial breakfast, Jay's cafe on the Stafford Road comes highly recommended by University staff. Jay's is located opposite MB building. The Asda supermarket (also marked on the map) also has a café.

THE CONFERENCE DINNER

The conference dinner will be held at 20.00 on Friday 29 June at the Novotel Hotel. This will be preceded by a wine reception sponsored by Routledge, which will take place in the Novotel’s bar area (located very visibly, just beyond the Hotel’s entrance lobby) between 19.30 and 20.00. During the reception Colman Prize, Business Archives Council Bursary and CHORD New Research Prize winners will be announced.

TOO MANY MAPS?

If you do not need all the detail, and just want one map, the 'Wolverhampton' map includes Science Park, halls and Novotel locations.

STAYING IN WOLVERHAMPTON ON THURSDAY THE 28TH?

Please do join the conference organisers for a drink or dinner on the evening of Thursday 28th of June. We are meeting in the Novotel bar at 19.30.

 OTHER QUERIES?

If you have any queries, or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Laura Ugolini, HAGRI / HLSS, University of Wolverhampton, Room MC233, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SB. Tel. 01902 321890. E-mail: L.Ugolini@wlv.ac.uk

 

Document Control Information
Author: Laura Ugolini
Contact: L.Ugolini@wlv.ac.uk
Last reviewed: June 2007