At the start of the 20th century, eccentric inventor and utopian theorist King C. Gillette developed the disposable blade for safety razors, launching one of the most influential, trend-setting American corporations of all time, for good or ill. (Bill and Rachel)
In 1972, some employees made a leveraged buyout of the Chicago and North Western Railway and re-branded it as “Employee-Owned.” The reality was much more complicated and reveals a lot about railroading and American capitalism generally in the 1970s and 1980s. (Bill and Rachel)
186 years ago, with the US economy starting to melt down, New Yorkers rioted against alleged grain and flour hoarding. But discontent was much more widespread, as Locofocos and armed “Patriot” paramilitaries soon made clear. Bill and Rachel.
In 1857, Waltham, Massachusetts jumped from the First to the Second Industrial Revolution by becoming the global home of the mass-produced pocketwatch, capitalizing on the railroad industry and then the American Civil War.
How some of the most powerful, wealthy political players in antebellum Massachusetts went from controlling state politics completely to hopelessly funding the Constitutional Union Party in 1860. [Continued from parts Iand II]