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Manufacturing the Future: A History of Western Electric - Hardcover

 
9780521651189: Manufacturing the Future: A History of Western Electric
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This is a full-length history of the Western Electric Company, which was the manufacturing arm of the Bell System. As manufacturer in the communications revolutions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Western Electric made products that accelerated society's pace, such as telegraphs, telephones, an early computing machine, radios, radar and transistors. Western's history offers numerous examples of the difference between innovation and implementation. The aftermath of Western's 1882 acquisition by Bell Telephone, for instance, reveals vertical integration as a lengthy process rather than a single event. Ironically, although Western transformed business worldwide with innovations in areas such as quality control and industrial psychology, the company was slow to implement these innovations itself. Western's dual role as captive supplier for a regulated monopoly and as government contractor led to its most rapid change, in the area of civil rights.

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Review:
"This overview of the operation and evolution of a leading firm over a vital era of American business history is recommended for undergraduate and graduate library collections." Choice

"...a compact and highly readable account of a hitherto largely neglected company." Albert Churella, Business History

"Manufacturing the Future provides a valuable overview of Western Electric's history, an excellent teaching tool for undergraduates studying the American economy." John Abrahamson, EH.NET

"The author's abilities to integrate so many disparate themes...into such a brief account are highly praisworthy." Enterprise & Society

"Manufacturing the Future is a thorough and well-structured book that clearly and succinctly- in 218 text pages- covers the most seminal points in Western Electric's history. The Book's emphasis on the relationship between the firm and the Bell System is well placed and its arguments are convicing. The author's abilities to integrate so many disparate themes...are highly praiseworthy." Enterprise & Society
Book Description:
A full-length history of the Western Electric Company, the manufacturing arm of the Bell System, who made new products such as telegraphs, telephones, an early computing machine, radar, and transistors. This book describes the coming of age of industrial psychology and the advent of civil rights in corporate America.

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