Every Farm a Factory: The Industrial Ideal in American by Deborah Fitzgerald

By Deborah Fitzgerald

Throughout the early a long time of the twentieth century, agricultural perform in the US used to be reworked from a pre-industrial to an business task. during this research Deborah Fitzgerald argues that farms turned modernised within the Twenties simply because they followed not just new equipment but additionally the monetary, cultural and ideological equipment of industrialism. Fitzgerald examines how bankers and rising execs in engineering and economics driven for systematic, businesslike farming. She discusses how manufacturing unit practices served as a template for the production around the state of business or company farms. She additionally appears to be like at how farming used to be stricken by this revolution and concludes by means of following numerous agricultural fanatics to the Soviet Union, the place the teachings of commercial farming have been studied.

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Extra info for Every Farm a Factory: The Industrial Ideal in American Agriculture (Yale Agrarian Studies.)

Sample text

A specialized machine was good for just one thing. A general machine, on the other hand, was good for many things. In early factories, skilled artisans used general machines, such as milling machines, to help cut complex parts. The artisans’ knowledge, as David Noble would say, was multiplied by the machine, because the machine allowed them to do something faster, or more complicated, than they could otherwise do. But 25 26 The Industrial Ideal in American Agriculture specialized machines had the opposite effect.

In a basic sense, all machines have performed tasks that humans had previously done for themselves. They have been designed to replace human and animal labor or, in some cases, to multiply labor. One specific context in which machines were developed, the factory, was extremely important in turning machine logic toward the repeated reproduction of complicated, artisanal tasks. Early-twentieth-century factories featured two kinds of machines. On the one hand, a specialized machine was designed to do one particular task that was a part of a larger process.

The process of making a gun, previously done by a highly skilled armorer, was turned into a series of semiskilled tasks. There were few jobs that could not be reconceptual- The Industrial Ideal in American Agriculture ized and divided, turning one big, complicated job into many small, simple jobs. Although in theory these jobs could have been done by anyone, including the artisan who had formerly done everything, in reality the artisan—and the entire concept of the artisan—was eliminated from the process.

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