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A ready-made business: the birth of the clothing industry in America.

By the eve of the Civil War there were 430 clothing houses doing business in New York City. This stood in marked contrast to the twelve "slop sellers," as dealers in cheap garments were known, listed in the city's New Trade Directory just half a century earlier. The numbers added up to the birth of a clothing industry. As Hunt's Merchant's Magazine enthusiastically reported in 1849, "It used to be one job to seek for the cloth, and another to repair to the tailor, causing not unfrequently great loss of time and much vexation. We now see everywhere, not only the economist, but the man of fashion, saving his time and his money by procuring the very articles he requires all ready made to his hand." Personal utility, though, was not all that qualified a ready-made suit as archetypically modern; producing goods on speculation for sale to an anonymous public while standardizing consuming habits and body sizes were also obvious criteria of industrial revolution, as was a rate of growth "even faster than the great increase in commerce and population justify." And so, when the New York Chamber of Commerce published its first Annual Report in 1858, it acknowledged the new industry's contribution to the city's rise to continental pre-eminence. "The appetite grows by what it feeds upon," these Merchant Princes, long indifferent to such ordinary pursuits, noted of the clothing trade's seemingly limitless elasticity, still a novelty in a world until recently prescribed by Ricardian assumptions of implacable limits. "There is no telling the extent it may not reach."(1)

In 1747 an English survey of business opportunities observed that "the most general use of cloathing makes the Experience of their commodiousness almost universal."(2) What was a logical inference in the eighteenth century, however, became an indisputable reality in the nineteenth. Clothing was tied to the dumping of British cloth in America after 1815, the fitful rise of a domestic textile industry during the same period, the concomitant decline of household manufacturing, the creation of a transportation infrastructure connecting distant and disparate regions of the country, the consequent growth of demand for finished manufactures in the hinterland, and the mass mobilization of cut-rate labor in the country's major cities by means of a system of subcontracting which the New York feuilletonist George Foster began to call "sweating" in 1849.(3)

By 1850, men's clothing constituted the largest manufacturing enterprise in New York, the country's largest manufacturing city. In addition, clothiers were the leading employers, leading aggregate investors, and leading producers of goods in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Boston.(4) They did business at the intersection of the two great trading triangles of the age, where southern cotton and western produce met northern and European cloth and capital. The "ready-made" proved to be a practical way to sell the cheap cloths and labor available in the city to the rest of the nation. Clothiers, thus, staked out a heretofore nonexistent position in the country's developing networks of exchange and, in so doing, helped to usher in the industrial market. They coordinated long and short credit cycles between different parts of the commercial world. They overcame one of the central problems of doing business in industrial conditions - bringing the new material abundance to market - by integrating two traditionally distinct enterprises, dry goods jobbing and merchant tailoring. They balanced the exigencies of a local retail and a distant wholesale market. And they connected the individual consumer - in this case, only the male citizen, as the manufacture of ready-made women's garments was still several decades away - to the ethos of mass production.(5)

Indeed, the commodity itself came to exemplify the social possibilities immanent in industrial revolution. Alfred Munroe & Co., exhibitors of "ready-made wear" at New York's Crystal Palace Exhibition of Industrial Arts in 1853, declared that the era had passed "when every man or boy in want of a new coat or other garment, must resort to his tailor, and pay exorbitant prices in order to be satisfactorily suited." The savings were presented as proof of the democratizing effects of the market. Foreign visitors invariably concurred. "A mob in the United States is a mob in broad-cloth," Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley characteristically observed in 1851. "If we may talk of a rabble in a republic, it is a rabble in black silk waistcoats." Americans were the last to take issue. Just a few years beforehand the United States Magazine and Democratic Review had pointed to the "clothing revolution" as a true measure of republican progress: "Articles of clothing are now at the command of the lowest members of society, which, but a century, since, were scarcely within the reach of crowned heads."(6)

Clothing and the Industrial Revolution

Clothiers were pioneers of American industrialization. Nevertheless, their activities entailed no great leaps of the imagination, technological wonders, or political privileges. Clothiers called for no special tariffs. They utilized no incorporation laws and had no reason to secure eminent domain. What's more, the capitalist production of clothing was technically little changed from that which preceded it. Hunt's might have considered the "perfect order and system" in evidence at the veteran Pine Street clothing firm of Lewis and Hanford to be paradigmatic of the new age in 1849, but the cloth was still being cut into suitable shapes there by a highly trained artisan and then sewn back together by someone paid considerably less to do so. This was the same division of labor that characterized the production process of colonial tailoring shops. The same modest collection of tools - shears, needles and bodkins, a sleeve board, an iron - also remained in use. And the garment itself was constituted of the same parts: a relatively expensive outer fabric, cheaper materials used for inner linings and less exposed sections, buttons, and threads. Even when a much-anticipated sewing machine was introduced in the 1850s, dramatically increasing productivity, no re-organization of the production process ensued, a traditional measure of industrial change. Instead, mechanization was integrated into the extant system of put-out labor. Nor did the mobilization of all those working hands - close to sixty thousand persons were in the employ of New York City firms alone according to an 1857 estimate in the Herald - entail the conscious social innovations characteristic of Lowell, or even Rockdale.(7)

The ready-made commodity itself wasn't even new. Inventories of presewn garments made up in advance of their sale were already in evidence in the sixteenth century, when English tailors nervously invoked traditional guild prerogatives in order to suppress the "trade of Salesmen." In 1700 a single London merchant reportedly kept one thousand suits in stock. By the middle of the eighteenth century the merchant tailor Jacob Reed was offering a choice assortment of "ready made cloths, both for Men and Boys" in New York. And John Shephard, who counted some of New York City's most refined personages among his "custom" in the mid-1780s, did a brisk business in ready-made clothing, principally satin breeches and silk jackets, which were among the most expensive items in his ledger.(8)

The development of the clothing industry, then, does not conform to traditional visions of the industrial revolution as a catalytic combination of entrepreneurial genius and sublime machines. At best, clothiers could be said to have applied well-established arbitrage practices to the new domestic market. But they still resembled an early modern "mercantile estate" insinuating itself between purchase and sale. In the nineteenth century, however, this meant integrating the revolutions in textile production (the plethora of cloths), labor (the mobilization of urban workers), and transportation (canals and railways). Clothiers took control of both purchase and sale, and combined the traditionally distinct roles of buyer of raw material, jobber, factor, wholesale manufacturer, and retailer in integrating production and distribution. Change and continuity, in other words, were not mutually exclusive terms in the industrialization of clothing. As a writer for the National Association of Wool Manufactures cryptically explained in 1873, the ingredients of this giant new industry were "so simple that the results to which they have led seem inconceivable."(9) The apparent "contradiction" was really evidence of the confusion and circumstance intrinsic to industrialization.

Contemporaries seemed unsure of how to account for this new industry. This was clear in the fact that clothing production was absent from all manufacturing statistics until mid-century, despite the industry's dramatic growth after 1815. And when clothing was finally accorded an official presence, it came as a result of the reconceptualization of industrialization itself.(10)

Early economic statistics had a singular design: to identify the sites of industrial change (whole production sectors such as textiles or iron, for instance) and then gather as much information about them as was bureaucratically possible. Such a taxonomy informed Alexander Hamilton's landmark 1791 Report on Manufacturers. It continued to guide all subsequent efforts as well. Even the ambitious Sixth Census of 1840, which generated an unprecedented statistical representation of the nation's economic life, adhered to the same epistemology: investigating commercial activities that were chosen, a priori, for their presumed centrality to the political economy.(11) "Manufacturing" itself denoted that act which turned raw materials into "a form suitable for use." This was the creation of something out of nothing, which was synonymous with the creation of value - a definition rooted in the previous century's "producerism." In this order of things, making clothing was an appropriation of the value already manifest in the production of cloth. It was, at best, a commercial elaboration.(12)

Then, in 1850, clothing not only appeared in official statistics for the first time, it suddenly constituted a giant industry. This was because Congress had instructed census marshals that year to record "the name of each corporation, company, or individual producing articles to the annual value of $500." The result was at once a more perfunctory and a far more exhaustive list of commodities than had ever been compiled. It redefined manufacturing to mean no longer the physical transformation of nature, ex nihilo, but the manufacture of surplus values.(13) The ambitious New York City merchant tailor George P. Fox, who sold ready-mades in his San Francisco store, thus revised the old political economy: "Until the goods of the [cloth importer] have passed through the [tailor's] hands, their value is in a dormant state, and they contribute nothing to the embellishment or the utility of life." In addition, no one was going to "produce articles to the annual value of $500" without intending to keep some of it for himself. The official record of industrialization now became a business document. That is, it reflected an entrepreneurial logic rather than a productive one, an industrial revolution driven by the pecuniary appetites of thousands of small firms and proprietary shops making up what they hoped would sell.(14)

Curiously, this version of industrial progress has been lost on modern scholarship. While in the latter half of the nineteenth century most major accounts of industrial change included a chapter on "ready-to-wear," recent histories ignore the subject altogether.(15) Such important studies as Alfred Chandler's The Visible Hand, Stuart Bruchey's Enterprise, and Walter Licht's Industrializing America confine their accounts of the early industrial economy to "the large ... establishment, with its battery of machines, foundries, or furnaces"; or to "the animating effects of cheap iron," McCormick's reaper, interchangeable parts, and Crampton's mule; or to a neat bifurcation of the manufacturing project between specialized "craftsmen-entrepreneurs" in the city and "large-scale" producers of mass consumables in the countryside. Even Thomas Cochran, who, in moving the industrial revolution back half a century, correctly noted that "it pleased early nineteenth-century Americans to have the price of cottons reduced, but the 'new world' they lived in was more the product of faster and cheaper finance, trade, and transportation than the result of steam engines, power saws, and other new machines," took no notice of the explosive growth of the clothing trade that grew precisely out of the interplay between cheap cloths and cheap finance and transportation.(16)

Shoes and boots, on the other hand, are the industry of choice for illustrating how an ambitious merchant agenda could transform small-scale, artisanal production into a giant business, which was the underlying dynamic of the clothing trade as well. However, what actually recommends shoes to historians of industrialization is the fact that their production underwent dramatic mechanization and centralization. By the mid-nineteenth century the shoe and boot industry far more resembled capital-intensive, factory-based production than it did its mercantilist-inspired origins in the putting-out system, thus satisfying the view of industrialization as a singular process of escalating size and sophistication. By 1860, in contrast, the clothing industry had begun to move toward smaller production units.(17)

Industrial Beginnings

If the clothing industry had an actual birth, it was in the emporiums and warehouses that appeared in New York and other American seaboard entrepots after the end of war and the reopening of European trade in 1815. These businesses responded to the unprecedented amount and low cost of British cloths in circulation. This allowed them to aggressively proffer the widest range of "fashionable apparel" for a varied clientele of "gentlemen." James Burk opened a store on the still largely residential Wall Street in 1821 where he sold garments made up of the freshest imports: London cassimeres, fashionable mixtures, William Hirst's superior blues and blacks, Sheppard's velvet cloths, real Tartain plaids, elegant Valencia vestings, rich black Florentines, and silk camblets. Burk, a prolific copy-writer, excitedly updated his inventory of fabrics in prolix and precise advertisements regularly placed in the Evening Post. There he listed the latest brand names, colors, and cloths arriving from Liverpool, all of which he promised to make up "in the first style." Burk appealed to the good taste of the self-consciously fashionable while also offering them real savings of "33 1/3 per cent on the amount of every six months clothing."(18)

Burk's store was certainly not a tailoring shop. Burk was no craftsman who sold his own skilled labor and hoped that the resulting income, less trade expenses, would leave a sufficient margin to support his household. A different ethos of accumulation informed his actions, one guided by anticipation of what would sell tomorrow rather than what was available today. The commodity had become a means of generating capital rather than vice versa, and surplus values were reinvested in the business rather than devoted to personal maintenance. Clothing was simply a convenient means for Burk to do this. He had formerly worked as an accountant and commission merchant before this latest career move, no doubt prompted by the influx of cheap cloths to America at war's end.(19) He began selling clothing in his native Philadelphia in 1817. By the end of 1822 he had opened a third store, a mile or so up Manhattan in the growing village of Greenwich. Moving goods between his three stores facilitated an economy of scale which helped him realize his incessant exhortations to the public for "economy in clothing." At the same time, Burk's enterprise did not at all resemble the low-end "slop" shop in which merchants with no artisanal pretensions sold cheap clothing to a clientele of mechanics, sailors, itinerants, and other urban rabble. The unabashed commercialism of these "salesmen," as slop dealers were professionally known, was the traditional antipode of skilled tailoring.(20)

Burk's was not the only type of response to new business opportunities presented by British dumping. Samuel Whitmarsh, who, unlike Burk, was a tailor, opened an establishment on Broadway where he insistently promoted "genteel ... ready-mades," in contrast to Burk's decision to principally devote his store to the "Measure Business." Whitmarsh kept the traditional appellation of draper and tailor but called his business an "original." He promised visitors the standard rich assortment of cloths, "constantly on hand." But instead of economy he offered an admixture of gentility and convenience. Whitmarsh's store faced the City Hotel, a favorite meeting place for city residents and tourists located at the half-way point along Broadway's fashionable promenade. There they could buy complete suits available "at a moment's notice" and shop in spacious apartments expressly fitted to appeal to fashionable sensibilities. By the end of the decade Whitmarsh also carried a wide assortment of cravats, handkerchiefs, hosiery, suspenders, collars, undervests, and drawers - "a splendid collection of Goods in his line," that line now being distinctly men's wear.(21)

A few blocks below Whitmarsh, also on Broadway, John Williams operated a Gentlemen's Fashionable Wearing Apparel Warehouse that he opened in 1816. Thanks to the full page illustrated advertisement he ran over several years in the city's annual directory, Williams allows us a glimpse inside the store. His over-sized entrance fronted the avenue's broad walk, a backdrop to refined male strollers in no hurry to get anywhere. Light floods inside and we can espy someone busy at work with his shears at the front of the shop. Is it Williams? Perhaps. But he called himself a clothier, not a tailor, and so underscored his role as a seller rather than maker of clothes. At the same time, the facade of this Apparel Warehouse was dominated by a large window, not for display - finished garments advertising the store to passersby hung outside on the door frame - but to provide the illumination essential for sewing. Was Williams a tailor or clothier, a manufacturer or merchant? Or was such a distinction an artisanal artifact, no longer relevant in the expanding, variegated market?(22)

Another clothier, Henry Brooks, opened a store at the corner of Catharine and Cherry Streets in 1818, across from one of New York's busiest public markets and two blocks away from the bustling East River wharves. This was the city's old slops district. "What a tide passed through that narrow street in those days hurrying to the horseboats, hurrying to market, hurrying to the shops." It was an ideal retail site. Indeed, Brooks had been selling groceries at the same address several years earlier. When the War of 1812 interrupted his provisioning trade he retired to an upstate farm in Rye. With peace, however, Henry decided to return to business, though not to groceries. He joined a younger brother, David, in the latter's clothing store on Cherry Street. In 1817 the two dissolved their partnership but both stayed in the trade, with Henry moving a few blocks down Cherry, to the corner of Catharine Street, across from Henry Robinson's well-known clothing store. A year later Henry bought the building for the not inconsiderable sum of $15,250, and in 1825 he opened a second store two blocks away, near James Slip, on the water. By then the business on Catharine Street was averaging sales of almost $50,000 per year. Unlike Burk and Whitmarsh, Brooks specialized in the pea coats, monkey jackets, duck trousers, and smocks made from cheap cotton and mixed cloths that identified the city's less genteel consumers. While "extraordinary cheap" coats in the vicinity of Broadway still cost between $22 and $32 in 1819, for instance, most of the coats Henry Brooks sold in these years were for less than $15. Nevertheless, he was taking advantage of the same new business opportunities as the more refined retailers in other parts of town.(23)

Those opportunities were described at mid-century in an apocryphal story concerning A. T. Stewart, by then New York's most famous retailer. Stewart had turned for help one day in the early twenties to a veteran merchant. "A lady came into my store and asked me to show her some hose," he explained to his senior. "I did not know what the goods were, and I told her I did not keep the article. What did she want?"

Stewart, having arrived from Scotland a few years earlier, was just one of innumerable new men who now saw their chance to profit by buying cheap and selling at small margins. It clearly mattered far less to them what exactly they were selling.(24)

Many enriched themselves by acquiring goods at auction and passing the savings on to their customers. Auction sales, in fact, became the primary means of marketing the flood of English cloth after 1817, when New York State began to regulate the auction system in order to generate the revenue necessary to build the Erie Canal. Once built, the Canal then brought provincial merchants to the metropolis in search of bargains at the very auctions which had financed the Canal to begin with.(25) Auctions also became the focus of rabid controversy, opposed by an unlikely alliance of veteran merchant houses nervous about losing their hold over importing, champions of American industrialization who dreaded the effect of so many cheap imports on domestic manufacturing, and mechanics who feared for their livelihood - all of whom somewhat disingenuously expressed their opposition in the nostalgic terms of "the mutual confidence and courtesy that subsisted in our better days." Now, they complained, business was characterized by fictitious bidding, false news, rigged markets, evasion of duties, and dishonest sales reports. There was a growing sense that too many taboos were being broken. Upstart merchants aggressively advertised in the "new papers" and exhibited none of the old mercantile qualms regarding commercial limits, impelled onward, as they were, "by the fear of losing something that another man as quickly bestirs himself to acquire."(26) Niles' Weekley Register was a leading voice of protest. It characteristically reported, with the opening of the fall season in 1826, the recent arrival of English blue cloths, "beautiful to the eye," which turned reddish brown after a few days exposure to the air. This was representative of the state of things, complained Niles', a situation that victimized American tailors who were then "compelled to take back the clothes made of these goods, or disoblige and lose their customers."(27)

On the other hand, there were obvious advantages here for clothing entrepreneurs. Half the fabrics reaching New York in these years sold at auction below wholesale rates. What's more, small lots were regularly available. Many were cottons, or cotton mixed with more expensive wool, such as the cassimere that was a staple of James Burk's business, a cheaper but respectable choice for one's coat and vest which helped make Burk's "experiment" in lowering the price of fashionable clothing possible. For that matter, the price of all-woolen cloth dropped throughout the decade, auctions remaining the cheapest way to acquire them as well.(28)

These opportunities sundered the early commercial identity of master and merchant, integrated in the eighteenth century by the merchant tailor who began to sell cloths in addition to his tailoring skills. Now, as the market widened and the lower end beckoned, a striking journeyman tailor in 1819 accused his employers of having only one object in mind, to "accumulate money." A similar complaint was heard from the other side of the political and social spectrum. Charles Haswell later recalled that tailors' search for profits in the 1820s had annulled the sartorial order between men who were personally fitted and the less genteel who had traditionally dressed in slops.(29)

A new type of clothing entrepreneur appeared, equally active in a second market in addition to that of cloths, the buying and selling of labor. Thus, even when the clothes were still personally measured for a specific customer, such as at Burk's store, that customer effectively purchased them from a middleman - whether he called himself a tailor or clothier - who mediated not only between him and the purchase of the cloth, but between him and the terms of (others') garment-making as well. The product now became a set of abstracted inputs, to be properly - that is, profitably - manipulated. Balancing the cloth and labor markets so they would yield the greatest return became the essence of clothing production. The clothier bargained with all the pertinent agents necessary for executing work. He contracted to give them a certain income and appropriated the difference between the sum of these contracts and the outcome of production. This made him a "windfall absorber" of the economic system. But he was also a new kind of capitalist - not a passive investor of funds but an active coordinator of production. And so, the commercially ambitious removed themselves from the craft in order to run their clothing businesses. By the early thirties the "draper and tailor" Samuel Whitmarsh was a busy wholesaler. Meanwhile, non-tailors like James Burk could only dress the economic and fashionable gentleman as long as he hired "as good cutters as any in America."(30)

A National Market

As Burk intimated, the emergence of the clothing industry was no local event. For all his self-professed devotion to the "Measure Business," for instance, Burk courted "Southern merchants and dealers in ready made clothing" with any wholesale quantity they required of dress coats, frock coats, pantaloons, and vests.(31) These were the same years that the trip upstream from New Orleans to St. Louis was reduced from three months to ten days by the steamboat and the Mississippi and Ohio valleys filled up with clothing stores selling eastern products. Kennedy Foster, for instance, opened a store opposite Allen's Hotel in Louisville; John Torode operated a clothing business on Main Street in Pittsburgh; James Waddell's "New, Cheap & Fashionable" clothing store advertised for customers in St. Louis; and R. Lusk ran an Emporium of Fashion on the south side of Nashville's city square, across from Benson, Hunt, & Co.'s clothing house on the north side.(32) They were representative of hundreds of others, supplied directly from the east or through New Orleans, where there were over a hundred stores selling clothing by the early 1830s. New Orleans city boosters had declared in 1822 that the four thousand miles of inland navigation separating them from New York were "evidently intended to answer some wise purpose, as nature never exerts herself in vain." Clothiers now proved themselves instrumental in furnishing such "nature" with a real, commercial expression.(33)

New York's emergence as the undisputed center of credit and the distribution of both domestic and imported cloths in these years made centralized, large-scale production of clothing possible. Now, before leaving port to the provinces, dry-goods would be turned into garments. The added costs of the extra transaction were saved by manufacturers who marketed the clothing themselves, either to their own far-flung stores or to the legions of country merchants who came to New York each year to restock. This vertical integration bypassed established dry goods jobbers and accounts for the early specialization of the men's clothing business - an innovation which satisfied traditional business reliance on a few trusted partners while also facilitating the more modern desiderata of extended control, scales of economy, and efficiency. In a specialized trade the provincial retailer could purchase in larger quantities. With fewer types of goods to attend, he was better positioned to discover cheaper sources of supply and to become an expert in his "line." And by buying and selling to greater advantage he undercut the retailing standard of old, the general store.(34)

Augusta, Georgia provides a ease in point. Augusta was located at the head of steam navigation on the Savannah River and served as a trading junction for a wide swath of the Georgia-Carolina black belt. In exchange for all the raw cotton it sent out of the region, eastern seaboard packets refilled the town's warehouses with northern and European manufactures.(35) A stroll down Broad Street in the mid-1830s is illustrative. If one could not satisfy one's sartorial requirements at E.D. Cooke's new clothing store at 197 Broad, it was possible to continue up the street to Price and Mallery's Clothing Emporium at number 258, located between the Globe and United States Hotels, or down the street to Francis Cooke's clothing house, or past that to Samuel Lane's men's wear establishment. If that was still insufficient, B.B. Kirtland & Co. offered an equally wide selection of garments next door to Price and Mallery. One could also have once continued farther up the street to Joseph Moss's store, at no. 305, though in 1834 Moss succumbed to the intense local competition, closed up shop before his lease ran out, sold off his stock at reduced prices, and returned to his New York Fashionable Clothing Ware-House in Charleston. However, Mr. D'Lyon Thorp's "old and long-known establishment" was still doing business between Kirtland's and Moss's stores. Messrs. V. Durand & Co. were also to be found on Broad, next to the post office. But the largest clothing inventory in town was not to be found on Broad Street. Clarke & Holland regularly filled a whole column of advertising space in the Chronicle and Sentinel, declaring it to be only a "partial list" of their goods available for sale. The most telling evidence for the clothing business's importance in Augusta's economic life, however, was the fact that both Francis Cooke and B. B. Kirtland were elected city Alderman in 1837.(36)

Volume and variety were the sine qua non of business success in "a fluctuating market such as Augusta." As James Edney assured Francis Cooke in 1836, after being sent by the latter to New York to oversee manufacturing for Cooke's clothing store, "I do not intend that you shall be behind any other shop in your market." A decade earlier Augusta clothier William Hills was still announcing that his "first quality clothing" was priced so cheaply because it had been made the previous summer. By the thirties no such admissions were forthcoming and Augusta's retail competition had become keen. Francis Cooke, for instance, had to quickly purchase an extra fifty, or sixty coats in New York at the height of the season in October, 1835, "even if we made nothing on them," in order to satisfy local demand.(37)

Advertisements boasted of receiving new goods from the North every day. This might not have been a great exaggeration. Francis Cooke regularly wrote to James Edney in New York to apprise him of local business developments and request he make up favorite styles and colors, often delineating price ranges and specific sizes. Edney, his work force in place and under contract for the season uptown on Grand Street, would then search the city for the desired fabric, always checking the auction houses for bargains. The garments were ready by week's end, loaded in trunks and sent south by steam or sail on packets that left New York every, day for Charleston, and from there shipped the nine hours by rail to Augusta, arriving in Cooke's store a few days after leaving Edney's shop. Thus, within two to three weeks' time, Cooke could fill his shelves with clothing made up in New York specifically for his Georgian clientele on his order.(38)

A "New York suit" offered a distinct cachet, a practical opportunity to buy into metropolitan culture. Local fashions were informed by a bevy of promoters of modern male taste. The Spirit of the Times and Life in New-York kept a subscription agent in Augusta. The New-York Mirror, The Knickerbocker, The Salmagundi, and the Gentleman's Vade Mecum were also generally available, as were sundry "Reports of Fashions" put in national circulation by big city tailors. As Price and Mallery promised, their inventory could "not fail to suit the tastes of the most fashionable or fastidious," selected as it was "by one of our firm now in New York." Francis Cooke, then, who upbraided Edney for sending him "old fashioned pants" at the height of the spring season in 1835, proved to be an agent in the exchange of cultural goods as well as simple raiment.(39)

In the winter of 1837 E. D. Cooke - no relation to Francis - advertised fine and common dress and frock coats in over ten different colors in the Chronicle. He also had a selection of overcoats made from mohair yarns, or from a camblet weave of German goatshair, or a heavy, coarse Petersham woolen identified with the pilot coats worn by seamen and used for hunting. His stock of vests likewise constituted a seemingly endless permutation of colors, yarns, weaves, and cuts, ranging from valentia which imitated silk to "common" blue and black cloth vests. Clarke & Holland offered the same cornucopia. True, they had no mohair goods in stock in January; Cooke apparently cornered the local market in mohair that winter. But the business principle was the same: figured silks and satins, superfine cassimeres, and merino woolens alongside negro cloth, kerseys, and cheap satinets.(40) Up in New York, Edney simultaneously devoted his manufacturing energies to making up and shipping in the same week overcoats of expensive "drab" wool - to sell for "no less than $25" - and an assortment of "negroe" pants and vests, though of a "finer" grade. Indeed, the low end of the provincial market appears to have been as stylistically diverse as the upper reaches.(41)

Inventories were "manufactured ... expressly for the Augusta market," which included a broad social and geographic range of provincial burghers and upcountry farmers buying clothing for work or for their Sunday best. Augusta also lay on the Federal Road, a byway for families from the Georgia-Carolina Piedmont migrating west.(42) But the city's clothing merchants actively sought to extend their market as widely as possible. Steamboats regularly plied the Savannah River and daily stages ran southeast to Savannah, northwest to Athens, southwest to Milledgeville and Macon, and northeast to Columbia, South Carolina, and, less frequently, to Greensboro and Fayetteville in North Carolina and to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The rail connection to Charleston was, for a passing moment, the longest railroad in the world and in 1833 the Georgia Railway Company received its charter and began to build new roads connecting Augusta to the center of the state and from there to the Tennessee River and Knoxville.(43) E. D. Cooke collected debts in Greene County, one hundred miles to the west, and Paulding County, which was all the way across the state on the Alabama border. Augusta clothiers also sold wholesale to general stores further inland as the latter began to keep several dozen men's garments on hand in addition to the more customary yards of uncut fabrics.(44)

The only ones not included in this expanding market were the bulk of the region's slaves, which comes as a surprise since the two million or so chattel field hands in the southern states would seem a natural mass market for cheap, standardized wear. Most stores carried "Negro Clothing." But larger plantations often undertook their own cutting and sewing of the garments they issued seasonally to their slaves, buying the cloth directly from the North through their factors. No one produced their own cloth, of course, since that required a considerable investment which would divert resources from staple production. Clothing, however, was easy to make and could be done by pregnant and older slaves, under the supervision of the plantation mistress, producing unfitted garments of the coarsest fabrics cut in two or three standard sizes, at best. This was what was universally recognized as the dress "crop negroes usually wear."(45) For that matter, the northern textile mills themselves could put out their cloths to local householders to sew into coarse, unfitted garments for a modest extra cost. This, for instance, was the practice of the Peace Dale Mill of the J.P. and R.G. Hazard Company in Rhode Island. The price was, thus, kept to a minimum and no city-based clothing manufacturer could possibly compete. The same production process was occasionally used by the Army too when it contracted for cloths for its enlisted men's uniforms. Both systems were certainly designed to mass produce, though not in the same way that drove the commercial city trade.(46)

Meanwhile, Edney did his best to deliver Francis Cooke the fashionable goods the latter demanded - garments made of a popular cloth called Honeycomb for the summer season, new vest patterns, extra pocket flaps, alterations in the extant pantaloon styles, "$1.62 vests" and "$4 or $5 pants," or "plain buff valencias." Edney: "I have been in intense anxiety to know what to buy for the spring trade, to know what articles suited, what articles did not suit, what was most wanted, what remained most on hand, sizes, quality, etc."(47) Production, in other words, seemed market-driven, attuned to demonstrated consumer preference and closely managed by the retailer in a position to best gauge popular tastes. Indeed, all the retail minutiae - the incessant advertisements for hundreds of varieties of coats, jackets, vests, pantaloons, and cloaks, not to mention shirts, drawers, collars, bosoms, hosiery, gloves, umbrellas, suspenders, cravats, handkerchiefs, hats, and shoes - were an ode to abundance, a provincial "culture of consumption" manifest in Augusta and in countless other southern and western towns, large and small. They constituted the industrial transition to a world of plenty where goods were not only desirable but were attainable. What most impressed the public in these early years of industrialization was not novel production processes anyway, but the unprecedented quantities of goods that resulted. This appeal to consuming sensibilities did not always make straightforward business sense, however. Edney complained about the wide range of goods Cooke requested for the store, specifically boys' clothing and women's cloaks (cloaks being the only women's garments Edney made, and which Cooke sold). There was an ongoing tug of war between retailer and manufacturer over such items. For Edney, they were an unwelcome diversion from the real business at hand - men's wear. They forced him into the market for small amounts of extra fabrics and patterns, costing him time, effort, and money. Certainly, for this reason, Cooke could not have made much of a profit on them. But Cooke knew they had a merchandising value not to be measured by any itemized bottom line. A range of goods brought customers into the store. Certainly, all his competitors offered the same for sale. And in the bustling southern retail market, in which Cooke's mark-ups ranged from 15 to 50 percent at best, a high turnover of goods was necessary to finance production, which, in turn, was premised on a steady turnover. Cooke financed Edney's salary and the much higher one paid to Edney's foreman/cutter, the tailors' wages, rent, coal for heating, and the occasional emergency purchase of finished goods - sums that reached several hundreds of dollars a week during the production season - from his weekly sales in Augusta.(48)

But the plethora of goods obscured the other side of the equation, namely, that production exigencies sharply delimited the nature of the commodities reaching market. Despite appearances, the seemingly limitless variety of fabrics was not necessarily a response to popular demand as much as it answered the manufacturers' own production requirements. Mills would sometimes make a new fabric because it offered the most profitable use for their machines that year. One wonders, anyway, if all those verbose clothing advertisements were meant to be read literally, item for item, or whether their real intent was to create a general aura of plenty, an aesthetic of "capitalist realism."(49) Francis Cooke, for instance, eventually received "fancy drilling" instead of the Honeycomb he asked for because the latter could not be had in New York. Edney found no substitute at all for the plain buff valencia; Cooke simply had to do without. In the fall of 1835 common grades of woolens became very expensive. Because the cost could not be passed along to customers of modestly priced goods, Edney substituted cheaper satinets for them. Presumably they found a market. But when satinets became scarce the next year Edney simply made no clothes of this class at all, even though they were a retailing staple. The situation, in fact, provoked a crisis in his relationship with Cooke. Cooke demanded that Edney use cheaper labor in order to compensate for the higher cloth prices. Edney demurred. The result, he insisted, would only be "miserable trash, ... a hard bargain at nothing." Edney held his own and Cooke was forced to acquiesce, though he remained unconvinced. Edney, in fact, suspected that his employment might soon be at an end.(50)

The differences between Cooke, the merchant, and Edney the manufacturer were based on the fact that the clothing business was still largely dependent on its cloth supply. Labor savings, which had been a key in the business's early rise, were pulled taut. A skilled work force was essential, and perhaps increasingly so as the growth of the market for fine clothing increased the number of fastidious customers. Cloth, on the other hand, was a highly fickle affair. It constituted not only the single largest expense by far for clothing merchants, but also the least dependable one. The price of such domestic staples as flannel and twilled cloth in the early 1830s, an important part of Edney's purchases, fluctuated by as much as 40 percent.(51) During the winter of 1837-8 Cooke made repeated requests of Edney to send him clothing of mohair, camblet, blankets, and green, brown, and black cloths, but Edney could not get hold of the fabrics. This was not because they were nowhere to be gotten. By the thirties there was little that could not be had in the New York market. Edney's specific problem arose from Cooke's insistence on dealing with a single cloth supplier, one with which he had a personal relationship. Edney protested that widening their circle of suppliers was essential for business: the only way to make up for the inelasticity of labor costs was to enhance their ability to acquire the fabrics they wanted when they wanted them, and to do so on more competitive terms, namely, a lower price or a longer credit arrangement. Cooke should have been the first to accept his reasoning. Who better knew the importance to retail success of a varied selection of goods? But Cooke was loath to complicate his exclusive relationship with Staples & Clarke, one of the new breed of dry, goods firms specializing in men's clothing manufacturing. Staples & Clarke sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of cloths each season to Cooke, which he paid for with his personal notes on six months' time. The cloth supplier, in other words, was not just the source of the all-important raw material, but of the no less indispensable long-term credit. Staples & Clarke consequently enjoyed great leverage over Cooke's business and even over his day-to-day operations. Mr. Clarke would travel to Augusta himself and observe business first hand, apprising Edney upon his return to New York of what and what not to make up, advice which Edney suspected was informed more by Clarke's than Cooke's interests. But there was little he could do. "You have placed me in your employ and have put both the employer and the employed in the grip and wholly at the will and entire disposal of Mr. Clarke." In the end, both employer and employee, Cooke and Edney, stood their ground. Neither cheaper labor nor cheaper fabrics were used to solve the conundrum, but the business prospered anyway. And Edney eventually learned an important lesson. When the high-flying economy crashed in 1837 it was Cooke's reputation as a careful and loyal borrower which allowed him to survive the Panic and subsequent depression by opening accounts with other cloth houses who knew they could trust him with their money during such stringent times.(52)

Cooke and Edney were everymen. Their business was pursued in the same fashion all over the country, not only in Augusta but in Milledgeville and Macon, Tuscaloosa and Vicksburg, Dubuque and Peru. Upon reaching the frontier during his grand tour of America in 1842, Charles Dickens woke early one morning to ride out of St. Louis through swamp and bush for a glimpse of the proverbial prairie, the edge of western civilization. Along the way his riding party passed an abandoned wagon lodged in a miasma of mud and muck. On its side was printed the motto "Merchant Tailor." Dickens thought it highly ironic to meet with such modern commercial ambition in this forlorn landscape of wretched cabins and isolated villages. It was an incongruity he best left unexplained, if it was explainable at all. Little did he understand, apparently, that there was money to be made here too.(53)

Those half of all Americans in 1850 who lived in lands settled only after 1800 never organized a system of household production that had been an integral part of pioneering in earlier centuries. They counted, rather, on the growing networks of continental exchange to make their new life out West a better one. By the 1820s buckskin and homespun were replaced by eastern fashions. A decade later Tocqueville noted the cultural meaning of these market achievements: "The man you left in New York you find again in almost impenetrable solitudes: same clothes, same attitude, same language, same habits, same pleasures."(54)

Hunt's Merchant's Magazine elaborated on this cohering national identity in 1840. America, it happily, declared, had become a "nation of shopkeepers." This meant that the farmer "was becoming quite as dependent for clothes upon the manufacturer, as the manufacturer is dependent for food upon the farmer." Hunt's was not oblivious to the revolutionary, and even anti-intuitive, nature of the new, national division of labor: "Now, abundant harvests, barns bursting with grain, herds of fat cattle and fatter hogs, will not make a farmer prosperous." The farmer required a healthy exchange economy in order that his produce realize its value. Only the market, in other words, enabled him to turn his labor into the "great number of articles which habit has made essential to his comfort." This was the moment at which the market was "transformed from something acted upon to something acting," as the historian Winifred Rothenberg has described the transition to capitalism. In fact, not only did the marketplace now become a market economy; it constituted a new civic ethos as well. Thus, Hunt's concluded its paeon to the commercializing continent: "Now the interests of everyone are all intertwined together ... unit[ing] men everywhere into one society, having common interests, which can best be promoted by the joint prosperity of all." In that way, the reciprocity of life in the Republic could be equated with the circular relations, and pseudo-symmetries, of commodity exchange.(55)

Metropolitan Production

All the pioneering was manifest in the frenzied dimensions of New York's clothing production. A single issue of the New York Sun during the fall manufacturing season of 1835 carried thirteen separate notices announcing work for over two thousand men's clothing makers (showing how the democratic penny press played its own part in industrialization).(56) The Herald and Transcript were likewise filled with scores of advertisements each fall and spring promising "constant employment and good wages" for city needleworkers. In June, Young & Van Eps sought four hundred sewers to make up clothing "in the best manner." A month later they were ready to invite clothing dealers from the South and West to examine their "very large stock ... in the latest fashion" and discuss credit arrangements. Hobby, Husted & Co. needed an extra three hundred tailors and five hundred tailoresses, in addition to six cutters "accustomed to southern work," to fill their wholesale orders in the spring of 1836. The cutters were to report to the firm's new store on Liberty Street, in the heart of the business district where they had recently moved from the old slop district, William Hobby for the first time separating his residence from his business. The tailors and tailoresses were sent a mile and a half uptown just above Grand Street, not far from where Edney was busy manufacturing for Francis Cooke. There they received pre-cut bundles of fabric and trimmings (buttons and the such) in exchange for a cash deposit, taking the goods home or to rented work spaces to sew, and thus saving employers the prohibitive expense of providing a workplace in the city.

Two weeks before Hobby, Husted's call for eight hundred hands, twelve hundred "plain sewers" were required at the corner of Chrystie and Stanton Streets, a few blocks away. Similar operations were to be found on adjoining Canal Street, Grand Street, Division Street, and Madison Street. On Stanton Street, in addition to eight hundred plain sewers, another firm required one hundred additional "girls ... to do fancy work in the house." But the clothing business was not restricted to a specific neighborhood. It was organized all over the city: in Greenwich Village, in the Cherry Street shops, on Chatham Street and the Bowery, on Courtlandt Street just off Broadway. The Tailoresses' and Seamstresses' Clothing Establishment, a benevolence project sponsored by middle class do-gooders, solicited southern and western business at their location at Broadway and Leonard Street. Nor was production confined to the city. In the mid-1830s, it was later recalled, every country village within one hundred miles of New York "became as busy as a beehive" with men and women sewing for the city's clothing houses.(57)

Sewing requirements were highly varied since businesses strove to offer inventories "adapted to the means and wants of all classes of society." Better garments, for instance, were constructed with finished edges, with pockets that matched, or with darts and tucks similar in length. Some seams were double-stitched - which, of course, required far more labor time - or back stitched with fine linen thread. The top of the back of a more costly pair of trousers might be faced with cotton twill sewn in place before the center back seam was finished. Its hem could be secured with silk bias tape. Formal and evening wear was often braided along the outside seams of pants. Sometimes pockets would be added to the breast, or a button would be put on the watch pocket, or three buttons sewn onto the cuff. All these variations belonged to the innumerable permutations of style and construction adapted to a highly segmented market which required more or less time, expertise, and experience from the sewer. How else could Lewis and Hanford, employing four thousand persons in an average week in 1850, profitably issue a spring catalogue listing four distinct "qualities" each of hundreds of separate styles of garments? Messrs. Lewis and Hanford had to be able to order up labor much like they did their cloths.(58)

Putting-out answered the need for a fluid, flexible, giant work force which could be immediately forthcoming when necessary, depending on seasonable fluctuations. Manufacturers saved money since they then passed expenses and risks on to labor, including the costs of unemployment and of unused capital in the form, not only of workspace, but of tools as well (threads, needles, and candles, not to mention wood for heating one's room). What were inhibiting factors for other large industrial enterprises - the lack of a power source, high rents, and, no less, social fluidity - were only incentives for clothiers. Their production practices, in other words, were ideally suited to the exigencies of profit-making in the city. The casual nature of putting-out was not just a function of commercial priorities either. Married women, for instance, often entered and exited the labor market in accordance to their family's material needs (not that those could ever be divorced from general economic conditions or from the business cycle). They sold their sewing skills when income from other sources fell short of needs: when a doctor's bill was due, new shoes were needed, or a husband was out of work. This was possible because most women knew how to sew and because clothing manufacturers preferred keeping a minimum number of permanent employees and improvising the rest, a business strategy made possible, in turn, by the large numbers of occasional hands available in the city. In fact, while complaints were often heard in other industries about the temporary nature of female labor, and particularly about the unreliability of married women's employment, clothiers made few such noises. Of course, this meant that those searching for full-time employment in the trade often had a problem.(59)

The coordination of variable labor costs with the business's multifarious markets was, first and foremost, a social process. Hierarchies of in-house trimmers, southern-work cutters, vest embroiderers, journeymen sewing surtouts with side linings creased in half-inch blocks, and subcontracted plain shirt-makers earning what contemporaries acknowledged to be starvation wages - they were all expressions of how the material facts of production were applied to social reality and how social reality was integrated into production. When there were no machines increasing productivity or technologies redividing the labor, when the product itself underwent no physical transformation to speak of but became a commodity in every respect, industrial production could only be organized through a proper manipulation of the extant organization of society.

Such a system was not without its problems. The same low piece rates which sped up the work and maintained an impressive degree of control by the absent boss were also the source of concerns that temporary hands would disappear with the goods. Hard-pressed wage earners in the city, for instance, not only pawned their own clothing to raise cash for rent or groceries. They also pawned the garments they made for the firms, redeeming them with a new job when the previous one was due. They could, thus, keep turning over their debts with a cycle of ostensibly free credit borrowed from their employers. In fact, however, payment was exacted. Clothing houses required deposits of up to several dollars - the value of the whole job - from those taking cloths home to sew. The money was returned when the finished goods were delivered and approved, although that too might depend more on the cash flow of the clothing house rather than on the fact that the work had been delivered. Stories abounded of employers postponing payment, withholding wages until alterations were made, or even keeping deposits under the pretext that substandard work had ruined the value of the cloth. If a deposit was not required, then references were. Putout pieceworkers kept their own ledgers of past jobs that constituted an employment history available for the perusal by each new boss. Records of all incoming and outgoing work were also maintained, of course, by the firms. Such documentation made it practical to organize put-out production on a mass level and left little doubt but that employers enjoyed a structural advantage in the system.(60)

The scale of business is best grasped by looking again at James Edney's relatively modest operations in the mid-1830s. Having just arrived from Augusta in the late spring of 1835, new to both the city and the trade, Edney bought $20,000 worth of fabrics and paid $4,600 more in wages and rent to make them up. A year later, getting an earlier jump on production than he had in 1835, Edney purchased $50,000 worth of cloths between August and January: his volume had grown 150 percent from one year to the next. He employed nearly a hundred tailors to sew it all up into garments. These were the not insignificant sums required to stock a single clothing store - just one of many - in Augusta, Georgia for a single shopping season in 1836.(61)

The large wholesale businesses, of course, such as Frederick Conant's, who was a busy presence in almost every southern state, manufactured for more than one store. They were engaged, in a way that Edney was not, in industrial production for an anonymous market. They had to think about advertising strategies, creative credit arrangements with buyers, and the risks inherent in any time gap between the commitment to produce (the purchase of the cloth) and the product's arrival to market, particularly in a market influenced by fashion. But while all these risks were compounded by the ambitious size of operation, volume also helped to ameliorate them.

Edney, for instance, could not compete with the wholesale prices of some middle-range goods made of cloths bought long beforehand at auction and sewed with labor hired on the off-season when it was cheaper and skilled hands were more available. This also allowed the large firms to more economically provide the provincial market with the wide variety of clothing it demanded, from the coarsest apparel to the most expensive fabrics and cuts. Hobby, Husted's advertising motto encapsulated the business strategy: "Wearing apparel in great variety, adapted to all seasons and climates, and suited to every taste and condition." Young and Van Eps gave the slogan practical expression, listing a range of coats for sale from five to twenty-five dollars, pants from sixty-nine cents to eleven dollars, and vests from forty, cents to seven dollars and fifty cents. This made them suppliers of last resort for the whole trade, selling to other city clothiers who, for one reason or another - usually an inability to acquire a certain fabric - couldn't manufacture the goods they needed. Edney, for instance, went to F.J. Conant's in early October, 1836 looking for a mixed lot of long overcoats which Cooke was anxious to have and which Edney would not have the time to manufacture himself. Other firms competed for the business of country merchants who purchased their cloths from someone else. Kershaw & Co, operators of a wholesale clothing warehouse on Pearl Street, promised to manufacture goods from cloth bought elsewhere "at the shortest notice and for the lowest price." This would lower profit margins, but also the risks, and it opened up opportunities for smaller firms with less credit. There was no lack of points of entry into the fast-growing business of clothing American men.(62)

"Democratic Capitalism"

In fact, the clothing business was almost too easy. In 1831 the Working Man's Advocate complained of the "hundreds" who knew nothing of the trade but had established themselves with their own money, hired cutters to prepare the work, and exploited the labor of impoverished seamstresses to sew the goods. A few years later, in the wake of the Panic, the Philadelphia Public Ledger condemned the hordes of "speculators" who had entered the clothing business because of the lure of quick and easy profits. These "mere mushrooms of bank credits" had been proliferating throughout the decade, to the point where the wholesale clothing trade was "running riot."(63) Edney, who some might have wanted to include in that category, nevertheless gave voice to the opprobrium. Men "who knew nothing of the business," he wrote to Cooke, who were "entirely strangers to it in knowledge and practice," made up huge quantities of clothing. They then sold the goods to "Tom, Dick and Harry, here, there and everywhere," moving their giant stocks by extending credit for up to eighteen months even though they themselves often owed on notes which came due in half a year. No matter, for in the short run they showed a dramatic profit, which was enough to arrange another round of credit. Meanwhile, "the fool countrymen" coming to New York to buy their goods "got in the 'speculation' while they were here and saw fortunes staring them in the face." They bought up all the clothing offered at such easy credit. The cleverest converted that credit into western land holdings - the ultimate object of the inflated economy - so that when the bubble burst in 1837 they could leave their bankrupt stores behind for a farm, or reestablish themselves in business with their landed collateral.(64)

Clothiers proved to be ideal men for the Age of Jackson; industrial success could become available to those without any special claims to privilege or capital. Haiman Spitz's experience was emblematic. Spitz left Posen for America in 1840. His brother was already established in the cap business in New York and upon his arrival, Haiman bought some goods from him and traveled to New Orleans to sell them. He peddled the caps, along with "Yankee notions," in the Natchez area. Within a few months he had accumulated two thousand dollars. Returning to New York, Haiman now bought clothing, both at auction and from several city firms. He traveled back to New Orleans in September, selling at good profit. In the spring he returned north to replenish his stock, this time manufacturing the clothing himself. He continued in this way for several years, coming to New York to produce clothing in the summer for sale in New Orleans in the winter.

By the mid-forties Haiman was in business with his brother, who had since moved his cap firm to Boston. Spitz & Brother became wholesalers and retailers of clothing. Peter oversaw the manufactory in Boston. Haiman, who was now known as Philip, managed the branch store in New Orleans.

After dissolving their partnership, Philip moved to Bangor, Maine, and again opened a clothing store. When the 1857 Depression wiped out his wholesale trade in the region, he moved to Boston and sold liquor and cigars; he then relocated to Baltimore after temperance legislation was passed in Massachusetts.(65)


When searching for the historical meaning of the ready-made clothing industry, it is not enough to note how the consumer was removed from the actual making of things, initially from the sheep's fleece and the flax patch, and then from the uncut yards of cloth as well. This distance between production and consumption was both physical and social, often peopled by men of modest means who had found a niche in the widening sphere of market relations. Their search for profits was no less central to the making of a ready-made world than was the production of things. Indeed, it gave industrialization its revolutionary nature.

He wishes to thank Elizabeth Blackmar, Richard Bushman, Eric Foner, Philip Scranton, Walter Friedman, and the anonymous referees of the Review for their critical readings of the manuscript. Important support was also extended by a grant-in-aid from the Hagley Library and by a Rovensky Fellowship in American Business and Economic History.

1 Wilson's Business Directory of New York City (1860); New Trade Directory for New York (1800); Hunt's Merchant's Magazine (Jan. 1849): 116; Chamber of Commerce of New York, Annual Report, 1858, 38-40; Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization, 1606-1865, vol. 2 (New York, 1946), 593-7; Maurice Dobb, Theories of Value and Distribution Since Attain Smith: Ideology and Economic Theory (New York, 1973), 69-73.

2 The General Description of All Trades, 1747, quoted in Nora Waugh, The Cut of Men's Clothes, 1600-1900 (New York, 1964), 91.

3 George G. Foster, New York Naked (New York, 1849), 137-8.

Arguably the best account of the early decades of national industrialization in the United States remains Robert Greenhalgh Albion, The Rise of New York Port, 1815-1860, with the collaboration of Jennie Barnes Pope, (New York, 1939). See also George Rogers Taylor, The Transportation Revolution, 1815-1860 (New York, 1951); Douglass C. North, The Economic Growth of the United States, 1790-1860 (New York, 1966): D. W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: Continental America, 1800-1867 (New Haven, Conn., 1993).

4 All figures are taken from United States, Manufactures of the United States in 1860; compiled from the original returns of the eighth census (Washington, D.C., 1865).

5 United States, Manufactures of the United States in 1860: Compiled from the Original Returns of the Eighth Census (Washington, D.C., 1865), lxxxv-lxxxix; Ben Fine and Ellen Leopold, The World of Consumption (London, 1993), 93-106.

6 Industry of All Nations, [Double Number], nos III and IV (New York, 1853); Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley, Travels in the United States, during 1849 and 1850, vol. 1 (London, 1851), 268; The United States Magazine and Democratic Review (New York) 19:C (Oct. 1846): 305.

7 Margaret Stewart and Leslie Hunter, The Needle is Threaded (London, 1964), 2; Linda Morton, "The Training of a Tailor," Dress, vol. 8 (1982), 22; Catherine L. Roy, "The Tailoring Trade, 1800-1920: Including an Analysis of Pattern Drafting Systems and an Examination of the Trade in Canada" (master's thesis, University of Alberta, 1990), 83; Timothy Shay Arthur, The Tailor's Apprentice: A Story of Cruelty and Oppression (New York, n.d.), 4-5; John Shephard of New York, N.Y., Merchant Tailoring Accounts (Rutgers University Archives), v. 2 daybook (or "Waste Book"), 20 Apr. 1786; Grace Rogers Cooper, The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development (Washington, D.C., 1976), 57-8; Caroline F. Ware, The Early New England Cotton Manufacture: A Study in Industrial Beginnings (Boston, 1931); Thomas Dublin, Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860 (New York, 1979); Anthony F. C. Wallace, Rockdale: The Growth of an American Village in the Early Industrial Revolution (New York, 1972).

8 Beverly Lemire, Dress, Culture and Commerce: The English Clothing Trade before the Factory, 1660-1800 (London, 1997), 44-74; F. W. Galton, Select Documents Illustrating the History of Trade Unionism 1: The Tailoring Trade (London, 1896), xvii; Stanley Chapman, "The Innovating Entrepreneurs in the British Ready-made Clothing Industry," Textile History 24 (1993): 5, 9: Carolyn R. Shine, "Dress for the Ohio Pioneers," in Dress in American Culture, eds. Patricia A. Cunningham and Susan Voso Lab (Bowling Green, Ohio, 1993), 59; Peter K. Newman, "The Early London Clothing Trades," in Oxford Economic Papers (New Series) 4:3 (Oct. 1952): 243-4; Carole Shammas, The Pre-Industrial Consumer in England and America (Oxford, 1990), 98; Paul Zankowich, "The Craftsmen of Colonial New York City" (Ed.D. diss., New York University, 1956), 390; John Shephard, "Merchant Tailoring Accounts" (Ac. 861, Rutgers University Archives). See, for instance, 3 May 1786; 5 May 1786; 8 May 1786; 14 May 1786; 18 May 1786.

9 Bulletin of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers 4:11 (June 1873): 124, 126, 130-3.

10 Clothing's role in the American ideology of industrial progress is expressed in the prominence accorded it in the long introduction to the manufactures schedule of the eighth census, written after the war in 1865.

11 These categories were machinery, hardware and cutlery, cannon and small arms, precious metals, various metals, granite and marble, bricks and lime, wool, cotton, silk, flax, mixed textile manufactures, tobacco, hats and caps, leather and tanneries, soap and candles, distilled and fermented liquors, powder mills, drugs, medicines, paints and dyes, glass and earthenware, sugar refining, paper, printing and binding, cordage, musical instruments, carriages and wagons, grist, flour, oil and saw mills, ships, furniture, and houses. Carroll D. Wright, History and Growth of the United States Census (Washington, D.C., 1900), 309-12; Alexander Hamilton, Report of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, on the subject of Manufactures (Dublin, 1792); Patricia Cline Cohen, A Calculating People: The Spread of Numeracy in Early America (Chicago, 1982), 175-204.

12 This definition of manufacturing is taken from Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language (New York, 1845), and is reflective of Locke's accepted notions of property and labor. See John Locke, The Second Treatise of Government (Indianapolis, 1952), 16-8. For a general discussion see Keith Tribe, Land, Labour and Economic Discourse (London, 1978). Edwin Freedley, a prolific copywriter on behalf of industrial progress, noted in the late 1850s, however, that the meaning of "manufacture" had become "an extremely flexible one." Freedley, Philadelphia and Its Manufactures (Philadelphia, 1858), 21.

13 Surplus values alludes here to the growing prevalence in the nineteenth century of creating manufacturing enterprises as a means of generating cash profits, and of using waged labor to do so. The best historical account of this dynamic arguably remains the first volume of Capital. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1 (Moscow, 1954).

14 George P. Fox, Fashion: The Power that Influences the World, 3rd ed. (New York, 1872), 22; United States, Abstract of the Statistics of Manufactures, according to the Returns of the Seventh Census, Jos. C. G. Kennedy, superintendent (35th Congress, 2d Session, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 39), 35; Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of Business Enterprise (New York, 1932; originally 1904), 19, 27. John Diggens argues that this entrepreneurial redefinition of economic activity is implicit in Madison's contribution to The Federalist. John P. Diggins, The Lost Soul of American Politics: Virtue, Self-Interest, and the Foundations of Liberalism (Chicago, 1984), 60-2.

15 Eighty Year's Progress of the United States (Hartford, Conn., 1869), 309-311; Horace Greeley, et. al. The Great Industries of the United States (Hartford, Conn., 1872), 587-592; Chauncey M. Depew, One Hundred Years of American Commerce, 1795-1895 (New York, 1895), 561-565.

16 Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in America (Cambridge, Mass., 1977), 50-78, 209-239; Stuart Bruchey, Enterprise: The Dynamic of a Free People (Cambridge, Mass., 1990), 137-164; Walter Licht, Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century (Baltimore, 1995), 21-35; Thomas C. Cochran, Frontiers of Change: Early Industrialism in America (New York, 1981), 10 (quote). Only Porter and Livesay note that clothiers uniquely solved problems of distribution in the industrializing market. Glenn Porter and Harold Livesay, Merchants and Manufacturers: Studies in the Changing Structure of Nineteenth-Century Marketing (Baltimore, 1971), 27-9.

17 Chandler, Visible Hand, 62-4; Bruchey, Enterprise, 150-1; Licht, Industrializing America, 26-30. On the decentralizing trends in clothing production, see United States, Manufactures of the United States in 1860, lxi. On the shoe industry, specifically, see Alan Dawley, Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn (Cambridge, Mass., 1976) and the brilliantly gendered revision of this familiar history in Mary H. Blewett, Men, Women, and Work: Class, Gender, and Protest in the New England Shoe Industry, 1780-1910 (Urbana, Ill., 1988). Both of these studies are more interested in tracing the evolution of class rather than the changing nature of business, however.

18 New-York Post, Jan. 2, Jan. 5, Jan. 10, Apr. 24, Aug. 16, 1822.

19 On British dumping, see Arthur Harrison Cole, The American Wool Manufacture (Cambridge, Mass., 1926), 80-1, 145-7; Ray Bert Westerfield, "Early History of American Auctions - A Chapter in Commercial History," Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences (May 1920): 168, 186-91, 202; Chester Whitney Wright, Wool-Growing and the Tariff: A Study in the Economic History of the United States (New York, 1910), 41-57. Yearly breakdowns of textile imports after 1821 are to be found in Congress's annual Commerce and Navigation Reports.

20 New-York Post, 27 Mar. 1822; 16 Sept. 1822; Philadelphia Directory and Register, (1816-1822); David Alexander, Retailing in England during the Industrial Revolution (London, 1970), 185; B. L. Anderson, "Entrepreneurship, Market Process and the Industrial Revolution in England," in The Market in History, B. L. Anderson and A. J. H. Latham (London, 1986), 172-3, 178, 181.

On the industrial nature of custom tailoring, see Michael Zakim, "Customizing the Industrial Revolution: The Reinvention of Tailoring in the Nineteenth Century," Winterthur Portfolio 33:1 (1998): 41-58.

21 New York-Post, 29 Apr. 1824; 9 May 1825; 3 Apr. 1828; 27 Mar. 1830; F. Fitzgerald De Roos, Personal Narrative of Travels in the United States and Canada in 1826 (London, 1827), 5-6.

22 Longworth's New York City Directory (1816, 1817, 1818, 1819); Mercein's City Directory, New-York Register, and Almanac (1820); Henry Bradshaw Fearon, Sketches of America (London, 1818), 10-11. See the illustration of a tailor's shop in Carl Bridenbaugh, Colonial Craftsman (New York, 1950).

23 D. T. Valentine, Manual Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York (New York, 1864), 753-4; New-York Post, 13 July 1819; Brooks Brothers Archives: ledger, 1822 (Box 03 A3 book 2A); Sales book, 1824-9 (box 3 A3 book 3); "Report on the Founding" (BB1 F10); William R. Bagnall. "Sketches of Manufacturing Establishments in New York City, and of Textile Establishments in the United States" (MSS. North Andover Mass.: Merrimack Valley Textile Museum, 1977), 344-6; Longworth's American Almanac, New-York Register and City Directory (1806-1819). Henry's four sons would found the well-known "Brooks Brothers" in 1850.

24 Matthew Hale Smith, Sunshine and Shadow in New York (Hartford, Conn., 1868), 56; Stephen N. Elias Alexander T. Stewart: The Forgotten Merchant Prince (Westport, Conn., 1992), 4.

25 Albion, The Rise of New York Port, 12-13, 55-61, 63; Ira Cohen, "The Auction System in the Port of New York, 1817-1837," Business History Review 45 (Winter 1971): 488-9, 493-8; Fred Mitchell Jones, Middlemen in the Domestic Trade of the United States, 1800-1860 (Urbana, Ill., 1937), 34, 70.

26 Nantucket Enquirer, 17 Jan. 1825.

27 Niles' Weekly Register, 9 Sept. 1826; also see 21 June 1823; Cole, American Wool Manufacture, 80-1 145-7 Westerfield, "Early American Auctions," 168, 186-91, 202; Wright, Wool-Growing and the Tariff, 41-57.

28 New-York Post, 16 Aug. 1822; 24 Apr. 1822; and 5 Jan. 1822; Westerfield, "Early History of American Auctions," 182-3, 184, 196-8; Elias, Alexander T. Stewart, 21; Cohen, "The Auction System," 495, 499; Albion, The Rise of New York Port, 276; Wright, Wool-Growing and the Tariff, 49. For details on fabrics see Margaret Thompson Ordonez, "A Frontier Reflected in Costume, Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida 1824-1861" (Ph.D. diss., Florida State University, 1978), 268-276; and Florence M. Montgomery, Textiles in America, 1650-1870 (New York, 1984), 192-3, 287-9, 238-9, 298, 325.

29 New-York Post, 20 Apr. 1819; 13 July 1819; Charles H. Haswell, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian of the City of New York (New York, 1896), 57, 72, 77.

30 David Saposs, "Colonial and Federal Beginnings," in John R. Commons, et. al. History of Labour in the United States, vol. 1 (New York, 1918), 28-58; Maurice Dobb, "Entrepreneur," in Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, vol. 5, ed. Edwin Seligman (New York, 1931), 559. On the pre-industrial meaning of capitalist see, for instance, ads in the New York Times, "To capitalists" and "Important to capitalists," 29 Sept. 1835.

31 For Burk's separate advertisement to provincial dealers see New-York Post, 24 Apr. 1822.

32 Louisville Public Advertiser, 5 Feb. 1823; Louisville Gazette, 20 Dec. 1825; S. Jones, Pittsburgh in the Year Eighteen Hundred and Twenty Six (Pittsburgh, 1826); St. Louis Beacon, 13 Apr. 1829; Nashville Republican & State Gazette, 11 Mar. 1828; 31 Oct. 1828.

33 The quote is from New Orleans Directory and Register, 1822. On clothing in New Orleans see New Orleans Annual Advertiser, 1832; George Rogers Taylor, The Transportation Revolution 1815-1860 (New York, 1951), 9, 107, 164; Margaret Myers, The New York Money Market, vol. 1 (New York, 1931), 434; Albion, The Rise of New York Port, 95-6, 118-9. For a good description of the continental credit system and the New York-New Orleans axis see United States Magazine and Democratic Review 2:6 (May, 1838): 116-8; Albert O. Greef, The Commercial Paper House in the United States (Cambridge, Mass., 1938), 15-7; Egal Feldman, "New York's Men's Clothing Trade" (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1959), 76-8.

34 Jones, Middlemen in the Domestic Trade, 10-11, 49; Ralph M. Flower, "Urban Retailing in 1850," in Readings in the History of American Marketing, Settlement to Civil War (Homewood, Ill., 1968), 296 Porter and Livesay, Merchants and Manufacturers, 7, 10, 21-2; Dianne Lindstrom, Economic Development in the Philadelphia Region, 1810-1850 (New York, 1978), 3; Thomas C. Cochran, 200 Years of American Business (New York, 1977), 14-5, 29.

35 Bruchey, Cotton and the Growth of the American Economy, 241-5; Richmond County History 6:1 (Winter 1974): 23-5; Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, 15 July 1829; 8 Mar. 1833; 19 Apr. 1834; John A. James, Money and Capital Markets in Postbellum America (Princeton, N.J., 1978), 51-4; Douglass C. North, The Economic Growth of the United States, 1790-1860 (New York, 1966), 66-71; Meinig, The Shaping of America, 241, 286, 324. On the mechanics of financing interregional exchange in the 1820s and 1830s see Peter Temin, The Jacksonian Economy (New York, 1969), 44-112.

36 Linda Ellen Peters, "A Study of the Architecture of Augusta, Georgia, 1735-1860," (Ph.D. diss., University of Georgia, 1983), 104-5; Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, 17 Oct. 1835; 8 Nov. 1834; 27 Dec. 1834; 30 May 1835; 7 Feb. 1835; 29 Aug. 1835; 28 May 1836; 26 Jan. 1837; 16 Feb. 1837; 21 Mar. 1835; 9 July 1834; 24 Sept. 1836; 22 Nov. 1834; 6 Feb. 1837; 23 Oct. 1837; 27 Mar. 1837. The Georgian, 3 May 1831; 1 May 1829: 3 May 1830; 14 Apr. 1837; Charleston Directory, 1835-6.

37 James M. Edney, New York, N.Y., 1835-7. Letter book to F. H. Cooke of Augusta. (Rutgers University Special Collections), 3 Feb. 1836; 21 Oct. 1835; Augusta Chronicle, 1 Nov. 1823.

38 Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, 26 Jan. 1837. Edney to Cooke, [1 Nov. 1837; 31 Oct. 1835; Jones, Memorial History of Augusta, 172.

39 Christiana Holmes Tillson, A Woman's Story of Pioneer Illinois, ed. Milo Milton Quaife (Chicago, 1919), 85; Augusta Chronicle and Sentinal, 24 Mar. 1832; 2 Aug., 11 July, 29 Aug., 1835; 9 Jan. 1836: 28 May 1836; B. Read and H. Bodman, Description of the Gentlemen's Winter Fashions (New York, 1836); Edney to Cooke, 28 June 1835.

40 "Negro cloth" was an inexpensive fabric, akin to kerseys and satinets.

41 Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, 26 Jan. 1837; 27 Jan. 1837; 27 Mar. 1837; 23 Oct. 1837; Edney to Cooke, 21 Nov. 1835. On the growth of the provincial market in these years see Diane Lindstrom, Economic Development, 12-7.

42 Meinig, The Shaping of America, 232, 351; John B. Jones (Luke Shortfield), The Western Merchant (Philadelphia, 1849), 80.

43 H. S. Tanner, A Description of the Canals and Railroads of the United States (New York, 1840), 173-4.

44 E. D. Cooke's debtors in Georgia Journal, 30 Jan. 1831; 13 June 1833; Augusta Chronicle, 4 Mar. 1826; 7 Oct. 1826, 3 June 1826; 20 May 1828; On general stores see Warshaw Collection of Business Paraphanelia (Smithsonian Institution), Business Records, box 3/item 8, box 31/item 6; James Shorter Papers Collection No. 1091. letter, 20 Aug. 1826 (Georgia Historical Society); Lewis E. Atherton, The Southern Country Store, 84-5.

45 This is to be distinguished from "Negro" clothing, which could include "suits" of "blue jackets and trowsers, well lined." The Georgian, 27 Nov. 1823. Linda Baumgarten, Eighteenth-Century Clothing at Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Va., 1986), 204; Ann DuPont, "Textile and Apparel Management Functions Performed by Women in the Nineteenth Century Plantation South," Ars Textrina 18 (Dec. 1992): 55-6; Joan M. Jensen, "Needlework as Art, Craft, and Livelihood before 1900," in A Needle, A Bobbin, A Strike: Women Needleworkers in America, eds. Jensen and Sue Davidson (Philadelphia, 1984), 9; Ordonez, "A Frontier Reflected in Costume," 180-3; New York Herald, 3 Sept. 1836.

46 Myron O. Stachine, "'For the Sake of Commerce': Rhode Island, Slavery, and the Textile Industry," an essay accompanying the exhibit The Loom & the Lash (Museum of Rhode Island History, 1982); Isaac Lippincott, "A History of Manufactures of Ohio Valley, to 1860" (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1912), 169-70. On Army production, see National Archives, RG92, Correspondence File, 1794-1915, entry no. 225.

47 Edney to Cooke, 28 June 1835; 25 July 1835; 19 Mar. 1836; 26 Mar. 1836; 30 Apr. 1836; 27 Feb. 1836. See also 31 Mar. 1837; 26 Sept. 1837.

48 Ware, The Early New England Cotton Manufacture, 31; Edney to Cooke, 3 Oct. 1835; 10 Oct. 1835; 25 Oct. 1835; 26 Dec. 1835; 27 Jan. 1837; 7 Oct. 1836; 19 Mar. 1836; Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, 27 Mar. 1837; 16 Feb. 1837.

49 Hansjorg Siegenthaler, "What Price Style? The Fabric-Advisory Function of the Dry-goods Commission Merchant, 1850-1880," Business History Review 41 (Spring 1967), 38. "Capitalist realism" is borrowed from Michael Schudson; see Argun Appadurai, "Introduction," in The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge, U.K., 1986). There were ample numbers who did not participate in the clothing revolution. In Schoharie County, New York, for instance, Henry Conklin later remembered how he and his brothers wore clothing made of the coarsest tow and staved in bed while their mother did the wash since they had only one set of garments. Henry Conklin, Through 'Poverty's Vale': A Hardscrabble Boyhood in Upstate New York, 1832-1862 (Syracuse, N.Y., 1974), xiii. In Milledgeville, Georgia James Moran got married in a homespun jacket in 1825. James C. Bonner, Milledgeville: Georgia's Antebellum Capital (Athens, Ga., 1978), 68. Of related interest is a description of a jury, of 24 men, all heads of households, in Tallahassee from these years: "What a motley assemblage! From the huntsman in his leather shirt and breeches ... the squatter in his straw hat, and dressed in coarse domestic stuffs made up by his wife; the little merchant, showing off in all the elegant exaggerated graces of the counter ..." Quoted in Ordonez, "Frontier in Costume," 147.

50 Edney to Cooke, 22 June 1835; 30 Apr. 1836; 21 Mar. 1836; 29 Aug. 1836; 17 Sept. 1836; 26 Mar. 1836.

51 Cost estimations based on Patricia Anne Trautman, "Captain Edward Marrett, a Gentleman Tailor" (Ph.D. diss., University of Colorado, 1982); John Shepherd of New York, N.Y. Merchant Tailoring Accounts. Ac. 861 and 1721 (Ruters University Special Collections); James M. Edney, New York, N.Y., 1835-7, Letter Book to F. H. Cooke of Augusta (Rutgers University Special Collections), 13 Feb. 1836; United States, Seventh Census (1850), Manufactures Schedule, raw data, New York County, N.Y. On fluctuation in cloth prices, see National Archives RG 92, entry no. 2118, 1830-3: special items, check lists, and indices.

52 Edney to Cooke, 11 Aug. 1837; 19 Sept. 1837; 21 Oct. 1837; see also 31 Oct. 1835; 9 Jan. 1836; 27 Feb. 1836; 29 Feb. 1836; 2 Apr. 1836, 23 Apr. 1836; 19 Aug. 1836; 21 Jan. 1837; 1 Mar. 1837; 14 Nov. 1837; 12 Dec. 1837; 24 Nov. 1837; Cole, The American Wool Manufacture, 289-91; Porter and Livesay, Merchants and Manufacturers, 27; Classified Mercantile Directory, 1837; See also Lewis E. Atherton, "The Problem of Credit Rating in the Ante-Bellum South," Journal of Southern History 12 (1946): 536-7, 550; Augusta Directory, 1841; On the personal dynamic of credit arrangements in these years see Asa Greene, Perils of Pearl Street, including a Taste of the Dangers of Wall Street (New York, 1845), 116-24.

53 Charles Dickens, American Notes for General Circulation (London, 1972, originally 1842), 220-8.

54 Tocqueville in Marvin Meyers, The Jacksonian Persuasion: Politics and Belief (New York, 1957), 131; Tryon, Household Manufactures, 298-300, 370-5; Thomas Ford, A History of Illinois, from its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847, ed. Milo Milton Quaife (Chicago, 1945), 129-30.

55 In Federalist No. 14 Madison still thought that improvements in the national transportation infrastructure would, first and foremost, serve government rather than commerce. In 1787, in other words, the republic was still principally defined as a political effort. Alexander Hamilton, et al, The Federalist (New York: Modern Library, 1941), 79-85; Rothenberg, From Market Places to Market Economy, 4; see also Jean-Cristophe Agnew, Worlds Apart: The Market and the Theater in Anglo-American Thought, 1550-1750 (New York, 1986), 17-56; William Cronon Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (New York, 1991), 61; Hunt's (Oct. 1840): 305-310.

56 New York Sun, 11 Sept. 1835; Asa Greene, A Glance at New York (New York, 1837), 132-4.

57 New York Transcript, 21 Aug. 1835; 15 Sept. 1835. New York Herald, 7 June 1836; 7 July 1836; 7 May 1836; 4 Mar. 1836. New York Sun, 26 Apr. 1836; 26 Sept. 1835; 6 Jan. 1836; 11 Sept. 1835; 25 May 1836; On the Tailoresses' and Seamstresses' Clothing Establishment see New York Herald, 1 June 1837; 29 July 1837; Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer, 24 May 1836.

58 Joan M. Jensen, "Needlework as Art, Craft and Livelihood before 1900" in A Needle, A Bobbin, A Strike: Women Needleworkers in America, eds. Jensen and Sue Davidson (Philadelphia, 1984), 5; Collard, "Canadian Trousers in Transition"; Laurie Casey Crawford, "The Analysis of Mid-Nineteenth Century Men's Outer-Garments from a Deep Ocean Site," (Ph.D. diss., The Ohio State University, 1994), 73, 145, 147, 204; New York City Tailor, measurement book, (New-York Historical Society); Citizens and Strangers, 109; Ellen Leopold, "The Manufacture of the Fashion System," in Juliet Ash and Elizabeth Wilson, Chic Thrills: A Fashion Reader (Berkeley, Calif., 1992), 112; Lewis and Hanford, Spring Catalogue, 1849 (Warshaw Collection); United States, Seventh U.S. Census (1850), Products of Industry, raw data, New York County.

59 Duncan Bythell, The Sweated Trades: Outwork in Nineteenth Century Britain, (New York, 1978), 166-7; Jeanne Boydston, Home and Work: Housework, Wages, and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic (New York, 1990), 131; Christine Stansell, City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860 (Urbana, Ill., 1982), 115; Stott, Workers in the Metropolis, 103-4.

60 Feldman, Fit for Men, 103; Penny, Employments of Women, 111-5; Stansell, City of Women, 111-2, 114.

61 Edney to Cooke, 13 Feb. 1836; 31 Dec. 1836; 6 Jan. 1838; 11 Jan. 1838.

62 Richard S. Rosenbloom, "A Conjecture about Fashion and Vertical Process Integration," Business History Review 37 (Spring/Summer 1963): 94-5. Edney to Cooke, 1 Mar. 1837; 7 Oct. 1836. On F.J. Conant's buying strategy see Feldman, "New York's Men's Clothing Trade," 25. New York Herald, 18 Feb. 1836; 7 July 1836; Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer, 24 May 1836.

63 Working Man's Advocate, 10 June 1831. Philadelphia Public Ledger, 21 Sept. 1837.

64 Edney to Cooke, 22 Apr. 1837. Davis Rich Dewey, Financial History of the United States (New York, 1907), 225. Atherton, Southern Country Store, 21-2. On these strategems see Greene, Perils of Pearl Street. On the easiness of New York credit for commercial neophytes from the South see Joseph G. Baldwin, The Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi (New York, 1957).

65 Jacob Rader Marcus, Memoirs of American Jews, 1775-1865 (New York, 1974), 291-9.

Michael Zakim is presently completing a political history of men's clothing in the United States, from the Revolution to the Civil War. He teaches history at Tel Aviv University.
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