Title

The craftsman as industrialist: Jonas Chickering and the transformation of American piano making

Abstract

Master craftsmen played a critical role in launching the Industrial Revolution in America. In this case study of artisan entrepreneurship, Professor Kornblith analyzes the career of Jonas Chickering (1798-1853), the foremost American piano manufacturer before the emergence of the Steinways. By revolutionizing the way in which pianos were made, Chickering-with the help of others-turned a modest craft operation into a major industrial enterprise. Yet, Kornblith contends, he remained true to the craftsman's goal of artistic excellence and won the respect of his employees as well as of the public at large. By the force of his example, Chickering contributed to the acceptance of technological change within the trade and, more broadly, to the legitimation of industrial capitalism within American culture.

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Publication Date

9-1-1985

Publication Title

Business History Review

Department

History

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.2307/3114003

Language

English

Format

text

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