Manufacturing Suburbs: Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe

Manufacturing Suburbs: Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe

Manufacturing Suburbs: Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe

Manufacturing Suburbs: Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe

Synopsis

Urban historians have long portrayed suburbanization as the result of a bourgeois exodus from the city, coupled with the introduction of streetcars that enabled the middle class to leave the city for the more sylvan surrounding regions. Demonstrating that this is only a partial version of urban history, Manufacturing Suburbs reclaims the history of working-class suburbs by examining the development of industrial suburbs in the United States and Canada between 1850 and 1950. Contributors demonstrate that these suburbs developed in large part because of the location of manufacturing beyond city limits and the subsequent building of housing for the workers who labored within those factories. Through case studies of industrial suburbanization and industrial suburbs in several metropolitan areas (Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, and Montreal), Manufacturing Suburbs sheds light on a key phenomenon of metropolitan development before the Second World War. Author note: Robert Lewis is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Manufacturing Montreal: The Making of an Industrial Landscape, 1850 to 1930 and co-editor of Urban History Review.

Excerpt

This book, an examination of industrial suburbanization and the making of industrial suburbs in Canada and the United States between 1850 and 1950, has three aims. The first is to assemble in one collection, for the first time, a selection of recent research on industrial suburbanization and industrial suburbs. Building on historiographic and theoretical overviews, case studies of various metropolitan areas in Canada (Toronto and Montreal) and the United States (Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco) highlight the place-based nature of the factory districts encircling the central city.

The second is to help refocus research on the suburbs. Until recently, most work favored middle-class residential suburbs. Along with other work that has been published in recent years, this book looks at industrial and working-class suburbs. The third aim is to show the significance of the dispersion of factories to the urban fringe for the making of metropolitan districts before the post–World War II bout of suburbanization. The book argues that manufacturing decentralization was a vital component of metropolitan development from as early as the mid-nineteenth century.

Some chapters are original papers specifically commissioned for the collection (Chapters 1, 4, 8, 10, and 11). The rest have appeared elsewhere. Chapters 2, 5, 6, 7, and 9 were originally published in a special issue of the Journal of Historical Geography, volume 27 (2001). Chapter 3, which is arguably the earliest academic examination of factory districts, and the model and . . .

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