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Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?Military Procurement and Technology Development$
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Vernon W. Ruttan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195188042

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195188047.001.0001

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Interchangeable Parts and Mass Production

Interchangeable Parts and Mass Production

(p.21) 2 Interchangeable Parts and Mass Production
Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?

Vernon W. Ruttan (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Economic historians have characterized the American system of manufacturing, or more appropriately the New England armory system, as the assembly of complex products produced from individual interchangeable parts. Its first important application was the manufacture of firearms at the U.S. army armories in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and Springfield, Massachusetts. During the second half of the 19th century, “armory practice” spread to other branches of manufacturing, such as sewing machine and bicycle manufacture and, in the early twentieth century, to the “Fordist system” of mass production of automobiles.

Keywords:   interchangeable parts, American manufacturing system, New England armory system, firearms, mass production

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