CHORD New Research Prize 2009
In order to mark ten years of CHORD, the second CHORD New Research prize of £200 has been awarded to the best article on the history of retailing or distribution published (or accepted for publication) since 2007 by a postgraduate student or a ‘new’ researcher (defined as a scholar who in September 2009 will be within 5 years of obtaining their research degree).
Joint runners-up are:
Dries Lyna and Ilja Van Damme, 'A strategy of seduction? The role of commercial advertisements in the eighteenth-century retailing business of Antwerp', Business History, vol. 51, no. 1 (209), pp. 100-121.
Some of the judges' comments:
'This is a generally well written paper that constructs a detailed analysis of newspaper advertisements within the context of retail change. In doing so it positions the findings of Antwerp in a wider European setting. The conclusion is especially strong and I enjoyed reading the entire paper'.
'This paper challenges the power of advertising to produce change in consumption practices or ethos. A substantial data-base is used to good effect, especially when it is linked with such wide reading'.
'A detailed and closely argued examination of (and challenge to) the view that newspaper advertising was important to retailers’ marketing strategies'.
'Clear structure and concise argument; subtle reading of primary source material leading to a modification in our view of the function of advertising in the emerging consumer market of the 18th century'.
'a very nice piece, examining the role of newspaper advertising in consumption in the 18c through a case of Antwerp. I think they make a substantial and important argument about how we understand the role of advertising'.
'Credit and creditability: used goods and social relations
in sixteenth-century Florence', in M.O.'Malley and E. Welch
(eds), The Material Renaissance (Manchester University
Press, Manchester, 2007). pp. 225-41
Some of the judges' comments:
'An evocative and lively account of the interlinking of credit, new and second-hand goods, and social networks. The paper makes clear the importance of trust and reputation (as is well recognised), but also the complexities of personal/business relationships in shaping access to credit, cash and goods'.
'Well written and interesting, with intriguing suggestions concerning the relationships between women, property and credit'.
'vivid, outward-looking and thought-provoking ... it pertains to familial, commercial and social relations; urban geography; physical premises and display; credit, barter and cash transactions; fashion and transmission of trends; networks of many kinds ... a really wide range of retail/distribution issues'.
The judges also commended:
Marie Gillet, ‘Supply of shopkeepers in Besancon in the first part of the nineteenth century: novelties between “old” and “new”, in B. Blonde, N. Coquery, J. Stobart, I. Van Damme (eds), Fashioning Old and New: Changing Consumer Patterns in Western Europe(1650-1900) (Brepols, Turnhout, 2009), pp. 145-65.
'a well written paper and well constructed. It develops a strong background to the case study of Basancon, which in turn is a detailed empirical approach. The author gives some clear objectives at the outset which also help contextualise the work. The focus on luxury goods along with ‘second hand objects’ is particularly interesting and well researched'.
'Detailed and wide-ranging. Especially interesting on the prevalence of second-hand goods and the extent to which even specialised retailers relied upon the diversity of their stock. An important argument'.
'impressive piece of research to construct an argument based on careful analysis on otherwise inert primary sources (inventories)'.
Marc Prat, ‘Between the firm and the market: an international comparison of the commercial structures of the cotton industry (1820-1939)’, Business History, vol. 51, no. 2 (2009), pp. 181-201.
'an international comparison, with impressive range, and significant conclusions with wide implications for standard models of industrial organisation'.
'excellent synthesis of largely secondary material makes some kind of international comparison possible. Clear and well-structured. This kind of comparative work is not very often achieved so successfully or so succinctly. Important conclusion re British exceptionlism has more general application'.
Catherine Grandclement, ‘Wheeling one’s groceries around the store: the invention of the shopping cart’, in W. Belasco and R. Horowitz (eds.), Food Chains: From Farmyard to Shopping Cart (Pennsylvania University Press, Philadelphia, 2009), pp. 233-51.
'This is an extremely well written Chapter and focuses on the innovation of a very specific development associated with the early history of the supermarket ... The contested nature of the shopping cart’s origins is well explored in a fascinating story of business history'.
'A fascinating account of the early development of the supermarket trolley'.
'an excellent subject. I wish there was more research on these mundane artefacts of retailing'.
'The essay shows a nice style and sense of form. The integration of STS approaches to technological innovation with the emergence of an everyday commercial object is executed very effectively and the product gives a sense of how to work through the difficult issue of unpicking innovation in complex and extensive commercial settings. I was impressed by the poise and clarity of the argument'.
Aashish Velkar, ‘Caveat emptor: abolishing public measurements, standardizing quantities, and enhancing market transparency in the London coal trade, c.1830’, Enterprise and Society, vol. 9, no. 2 (2008), pp. 281-313.
' meaty, informative, unusual in choice and significant in conclusions'.
'Meticulous account of the London coal trade in the early nineteenth century. There is detailed archival work and a carefully honed argument concerning shifting modes and levels of regulation'.
piece of research which links the emergence of standardised
quantities and uniformed measurements to the emerging
requirements of markets rather than to state invention. This
movement, it is argued decisively here, coincided with a
period when the state was withdrawing from the coal trade.
Wide range of primary and secondary sources'.
'an interesting paper on a topic that has been somewhat neglected by urban historians in Spain'
'A detailed and thoroughly researched empirical account of the tertiary sector in La Coruna'.
More information about the 2009 CHORD Conference can be found here
The judges are:
See the results of the 2007 competition here!
Dr. Laura Ugolini