Podcast by Hagley Museum and Library
Conversation with Laura Phillips Sawyer
AMERICAN FAIR TRADE: PROPRIETARY CAPITALISM, CORPORATISM, AND THE 'NEW COMPETITION,' 1890–1940
Roger Horowitz interviews Laura Phillips Sawyer about her recent book, American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the 'New Competition,' 1890–1940 (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Phillips Sawyer, an associate professor at University of Georgia Law School, used the Chamber of Commerce of the United States collection at Hagley in her research.
In American Fair Trade, Laura Phillips Sawyer argues that American small businesses created an influential fair trade movement in the early twentieth century. These firms formed trade associations to lobby and litigate to reshape competition policy to their benefit. Fair trade arguments borrowed from progressive law and economics, demonstrating a persistent concern with market fairness - not only fair prices for consumers but also fair competition among businesses. Proponents of fair trade collaborated with regulators to create codes of fair competition and influenced the administrative state's public-private approach to market regulation. Early New Deal partnerships in planning borrowed from those efforts to manage competitive markets, yet ultimately discredited the fair trade model by mandating economy-wide trade rules that sharply reduced competition. These efforts to reconcile the American tradition of a well-regulated society with the legacy of Gilded Age of laissez-faire capitalism produced the modern American regulatory state.
For more Hagley History Hangouts, go to: www.hagley.org/hhh
Conversation with Trish Kahle
THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT: COAL & CITIZENSHIP IN THE AGE OF ENERGY CRISIS
Gregory Hargreaves interviews Trish Kahle about her book project “The Graveyard Shift: Coal & Citizenship in the Age of Energy Crisis.” Kahle, assistant professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University Qatar, received support for her research from the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society, including an exploratory grant and a Henry Belin du Pont research grant.
In “The Graveyard Shift,” Kahle discusses her research on the post-WWII political economy of coal, and its role in struggles over the civic rights & responsibilities entailed in high production & consumption of energy, an issue she terms “energy citizenship.” During the energy crises of the1970s, Kahle argues, the problem of energy citizenship took on new urgency, especially in American coalfields, where she identifies the competing rights & obligations that flowed from the linkages of energy producers & consumers, and the efforts of both labor & capital to exploit advantages and avoid liabilities in the political arena.
For more Hagley History Hangouts, go to: hagley.org/hhh
Conversation with Rachel Lance
LANCE’S QUEST TO SOLVE THE MYSTERY OF A CIVIL WAR SUBMARINE
In this episode, Ben Spohn interviews Dr. Rachel Lance, an Assistant Consulting Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Duke University School of Medicine on her new book, In the Waves: My Quest to Solve the Mystery of A Civil War Submarine (Dutton, 2020). Lance is a biomedical engineer and blast-injury specialist by training. Before earning her Phd. at Duke University, she worked as an engineer for the United States Navy, building specialized underwater equipment.
In In the Waves: My Quest to Solve the Mystery of a Civil War Submarine (Dutton, 2020) Lance documents how she developed and tested her own theory on the sinking of the HL Hunley, a Confederate submarine lost after sinking just one Union ship, the U.S.S. Housatonic. Lance’s research at Hagley provided her with background knowledge on the finer points of blackpowder manufacture and explosions. Lance’s historical research and experiments with black powder explosions and her own miniature version of the HL Hunley lend support to her theory: The HL Hunley and her crew were lost due to the explosive shockwave unleashed by the torpedo used to sink the USS Housatonic.
For more Hagley History Hangouts, visit: www.hagley.org/hhh
Conversation with Joanne Yates & Craig N. Murphy
ENGINEERING RULES: GLOBAL STANDARD SETTING SINCE 1880
Roger Horowitz interviews JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy about their recent book, Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting since 1880 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).
JoAnne Yates (Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management, MIT) and Craig N. Murphy (the Betty Freyhof Johnson '44 Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College) used the Ralph Showers personal papers that are now in Hagley’s collections in their research.
Engineering Rules provides the first global history of voluntary consensus standard setting. Private, voluntary standards shape almost everything we use, from screw threads to shipping containers to e-readers. They have been critical to every major change in the world economy for more than a century, including the rise of global manufacturing and the ubiquity of the internet. In Engineering Rules, JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy trace the standard-setting system's evolution through time, revealing a process with an astonishingly pervasive, if rarely noticed, impact on all of our lives. Yates and Murphy describe the positive ideals that sparked the standardization movement, the ways its leaders tried to realize those ideals, and the challenges the movement faces today.
Their book was a finalist for the Hagley Prize in Business of the Business History Conference. Click here for more information about their book: https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/engineering-rules.
For more Hagley History Hangouts, visit: www.hagley.org/hhh
Conversation with Kevin Tennent
AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACY BETWEEN 1913 AND 1935
Program Officer Gregory Hargreaves interviews Dr. Kevin Tennent about his recent research at the Hagley Museum & Library, funded by a grant from the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society. Dr. Tennent, Senior Lecturer at the University of York School of Management, used Hagley materials in his research on American industrial democracy between 1913 and 1935. Dr. Tennent’s research seeks to further our understanding of labor representation within industrial concerns, to determine how democratic institutions functions within American business of the period, and to investigate their relationship with organized labor unions and the relative empowerment of employees.
Conversation with Daniel Wortel-London
IN DEBT TO GROWTH: REAL ESTATE & THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PUBLIC FINANCE IN NEW YORK CITY, 1880-1943
Daniel Wortel-London is a recent PhD in American History from New York University, with a research focus on political, urban, and fiscal history. Dr. Wortel-London was the 2019-2020 Louis Galambos National Fellow in Business & Politics at the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society, and has worked as a public policy researcher for the Global Parliament of Mayors & the Adelphi Institute, an instructor at City College & the Jacob Riis Settlement House, and as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of the City of New York.
Dr. Wortel-London’s dissertation, “In Debt to Growth: Real Estate & the Political Economy of Public Finance in New York City, 1880-1943,” investigates the changing relation of public finance and real estate development in New York City between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries. Whereas many historians have viewed these topics in isolation, assuming that urban fiscal policy merely reflects broader social and economic forces, his research reveals that decisions over how – and by whom - urban real estate should be taxed or subsidized had independent and powerful effects on the distribution of wealth, power, and social equity within American cities.