From artisans to 'factories': the interpenetration of craft and industry in English cheese-making, 1650–1950

Blundel, Richard and Tregear, Angela (2013). From artisans to 'factories': the interpenetration of craft and industry in English cheese-making, 1650–1950. In: Casson, Mark and Casson, Catherine eds. History Of Entrepreneurship: Innovation And Risk-Taking, 1200–2000. The International Library of Entrepreneurship, 2. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 587–621.

URL: http://www.e-elgar.co.uk/bookentry_main.lasso?id=1...

Abstract

This article traces the uneven development of English cheesemaking from its early commercialization to the eventual triumph of the 'cheese factory'. The narrative shows how contemporary actors initiated and adapted to changes in technology, distribution, consumption, and regulation. It indicates that artisanal practices have both borrowed from and become integrated with industrial logics and strategies, exemplifying a process that Charles F. Sabel and Jonathan Zeitlin termed the 'recombinablility and interpenetration' of different forms of economic organization [World of Possibilities: Flexibility and Mass Production in Western Industrialization, Cambridge, U.K., 1997), 2–3]. International comparisons are introduced to clarify the reasons for England’s halting and idiosyncratic transition to industrial-scale cheese-making.

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