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American Philosophical Society
Technology and Power in the Early American Cotton Industry: James Montgomery, the 2nd Edition of his “Cotton Manufacture” (1840), & the ‘Justitia’ Controversy about Relative Power Costs (Memoir 189)
David J. Jeremy
Behind the original pubication of Montgomery’s “Practical Detail” (1840) lay the continuing concern about world markets & international economic & technological leadership. Montgomery’s achievement lay in the wealth & reliability of the comparative data he assembled, for the first time, about the Am. & British cotton industries, which were then the high tech of industrializing societies. For the tech. & economics of production of the early 19th century cotton industries, his work remains indispensable. A mss. has recently surfaced in which Montgomery recorded the changes he intended for the 2nd ed. of his classic. The vol. is prefaced by a biog. of Montgomery, tracing his Scottish background & his migration from Glasgow to New England in the 1830s, & an intro. to the 2nd ed., establishing its context. Appended to the Montogmery text are the documents of the “justitia controversy,” from the Boston newspapers of 1841, in which the merits & relative costs of steam & water power were debated. Scholarly footnotes, textual & substantive, are provided as appropriate. Illus.
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