Origins of the US carpet industry
November 10, 2007 8:44 PM   Subscribe

How do regional clusters of economic activity get started? For example, why is Dalton, a town in northern Georgia, the center of the American carpet industry? It started with a farm girl named Catherine Evans, who made a tufted bedspread as a wedding present in 1900. Via Paul Krugman.
posted by russilwvong (9 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
ev-ry-ONE needs a STOOL!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:01 PM on November 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

That's a fantastic story.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:43 PM on November 10, 2007

Thanks for this.
posted by psmith at 9:54 PM on November 10, 2007

This works for economic ethnography, too. See also: Indians and motels.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:05 AM on November 11, 2007

wonderful, especially indians and motels link.
posted by willie11 at 10:00 AM on November 11, 2007

good stuff. more reason to develop economic theories of preference development, since the work we (can) do in the present effects not only what future work we can do but what choices are economically "rational" to us as consumers.

also, this "economic geography" field offers more evidence, if you needed any, that humans, even economic humans, act in collectives and "communities" as much as/more than they act as individuals. [the Economist be damned.]
posted by eustatic at 11:10 AM on November 11, 2007

also, Given the history of the development of slave labor based on race in the US (white servants allowed guns, blacks not, and all the rest), and the suppression of labor movements on the basis of class; is it at all surprising that people have used (ever-shifting) racial categories as a basis to organize themselves?

inspired by the patel hotel cartel article
posted by eustatic at 11:17 AM on November 11, 2007

How do regional clusters of economic activity get started?

A very good place to start looking for an answer is Michael E. Porter's 'Competitive Advantage of Nations'.
posted by biffa at 8:29 AM on November 12, 2007

posted by Smedleyman at 12:34 PM on November 12, 2007

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