“Innovation, Alienation, and the Russet Brogan: Plantation Provisioning and New England’s Industrial Revolution”
Seth Rockman, Brown University
Bringing together labor history and material culture studies, this paper considers the booming business of slave shoe manufacturing in central Massachusetts in the first half of the nineteenth century. In some ways, the story of industrialization and interregional trade is familiar, but do the specific characteristics of “brogans” provide new insight into old questions about craft identity and the nature of early American capitalism?
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