Mass Production and Modernism

Week 10

Mass production, Modernism and Consumer Society

The modern world was made of glass and steel - the materials of mass production. The modernists praised a society of buildings without useless ornaments, as well factories, railway carriges and automobiles. This time we will focus on modernism, mass production and Henry Ford. 


9.00-12.00: Lecture and seminar

Core readings:


Misa Ch. 6

Introduction (pp. 1-13)


Henry Ford,

“Mass Production”,

Encyclopedia Britannica, 1926 


Discussion 1:

Bernstein, Jeffrey, “Toyoda Automatic Looms and Toyota automobiles” pp. 396-438, in “Creating Modern Capitalism. How Entrepreneurs, Companies and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial revolutions” by Thomas McCraw, Harvard UP, 1997

Discussion 2:

Ndiaye, Pap A. “Nylon and Bombs. DuPont and the March of Modern America” Ch. 2, pp. 63-105 , “From Ammonia to Nylon. Technologies and Careers”,Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007

Discussion 3:

Saha, Madhumita, " Food for Soil, Food for People",Technology and Culture April 2013, vol. 54, 2 pp. 289-315



Supplementary Readings:

Hounshell, David A,

From the American System to Mass Production 1800-1932

Johna Hopkins University Press, 1984 

Daniel J. Boorstin,


“The Americans: The Democratic Experience”


Book One, Part Two: Consumption Communities


(pages 89-164)


Vintage Books/Random House, New York, 1973


Hounshell, David A,

From the American System to Mass Production 1800-1932

Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984

Schmitz, J.C.

“The growth of big business in the United States and western Europe 1850-1939”

CUP, 1993


Marsden, Ben  and Smith, Crosbie 

Engineering empires: A cultural history of technology in nineteenth-century Britain” 

Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005


Langins, Janis

Conserving the enlightenment : French military engineering from Vauban to the Revolution

Cambridge,MA: The MIT Press, 2004.


Heitmann, J.A. and Rhees, D.J.

“Scaling up : Science, engineering and the American chemical industry”

American Institute of Chemical engineers, 1990


Richard, Shelton Kirby et al.

“Engineering in history”

New York: Dover, 1990. 


Combs, James G.

“An Analysis of the Administrative Profiles of the first two mass production systems on America”

Int’ J. og Pub. Adm. 18(6), 987-1006, 1995


DeLong , J. Bradford

Cornucopia: Increasing Wealth in the Twentieth Century

22 JUNI 2018