A History of Small Business in America by Mansel G. Blackford

By Mansel G. Blackford

From the colonial period to the current day, small companies were an essential component of yankee existence. First released in 1991 and now completely revised and up-to-date, A background of Small company in America explores the relevant yet ever-changing position performed through small companies within the nation's monetary, political, and cultural development.

Examining small companies in production, revenues, prone, and farming, Mansel Blackford argues that whereas small corporations have continuously been vital to the nation's improvement, their importance has different significantly in several time classes and in numerous segments of our economic climate. all through, he relates small enterprise improvement to adjustments in America's total company and financial structures and provides comparisons among the expansion of small company within the usa to its improvement in different nations. He locations exact emphasis at the value of small enterprise improvement for ladies and minorities. targeted in its breadth, this e-book presents the one complete assessment of those major topics.

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A few storekeepers simply marked their walls with chalked tallies of their accounts; others ran columns of figures on shingles, the forerunner of the visible file. One storekeeper kept his cash account by hanging up a pair of boots, one on each side of a fireplace. Into one boot went the money received during the day; into the other went pieces of paper covering the money paid out. To arrive at a balance, the storekeeper simply emptied the boots! Most found it necessary, however, to maintain more complete accounts based upon single entry bookkeeping.

Instead of making items for their own use, farmers resorted to country stores where they purchased them. Writing in the early 1850s, the president of the New York Agricultural Society commented upon this trend, noting that the farmer ‘‘now sells for money, and it is in his interest to buy for money, every article that he cannot produce cheaper than he can buy. ’’ As farming became increasingly market-oriented, farmers became more and more rational in managing their farms as small businesses. While many continued to trust tradition, using almanacs and Benjamin Franklin’s maxims to determine how they ran their farms, some began to think in terms of new methods.

The situation of artisans in pre-Revolutionary Charleston, South Carolina, was probably typical of that in most colonial cities. In Charleston there were two groups of artisans: those who owned their own shops and those who did not. Carpenters, bricklayers, carvers, joiners, and tinsmiths usually did not possess their own shops. However, a large number of saddlers, cabinetmakers, shoemakers, and others did and operated as small business people, fashioning their own wares for sale in their own shops.

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