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U.S. Textile Industry Location 1880-1900

Version
V0
Resource Type
Dataset : other
Creator
  • Doane, David (Oakland University)
  • Oakland University
Publication Date
2019-01-03
Free Keywords
Economics; economic history; history; historical data
Description
  • Abstract

    This project comprises three databases containing data on firms, products, costs. inputs, outputs, and technology for 448 products made by 70 textile manufacturing firms surveyed over the period 1888-1890 in 16 states and published in the Seventh Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, Vol. I (1892).

    The firms' names and locations (except region: north or south) were originally hidden, in order to obtain cooperation in revealing firms' competitive data to the U.S. Commissioner of Labor. However, scholars have since discovered most of the textile mill names through careful matching of information in the report with other sources (see Doane pp. 51-54). Identification of each firm permitted augmenting the data (e.g., transportation costs) using other sources.

    Data were assembled by Doane for his doctoral dissertation research, which analyzed shifts in textile manufacturing after 1880. He evaluated statements by economic historians about the causes of the decline of northern manufacturing. His goal was to evaluate common assertions against empirical evidence in an explicit argument form grounded in economic theory. To this end, he used many data sources to measure and compare manufacturing cost, productivity, and quality of textiles made by firms located in the northern and southern regions.

    Doane transformed and augmented the Commissioner's data, adding categorical variables and imputed costs (transportation, interest, depreciation) to the Commissioner's original data. To adjust for varying cloth width (and thereby facilitate product comparison, classification, and coding) Doane transformed the Commissioner's cost per linear yard to cents per square yard.
    Originally (1968-1970) the data were keypunched onto IBM cards. In 2019, Doane (then retired from a 44-year academic career) converted, cleaned, and reformatted his data to Excel format to make them available to modern scholars. The resulting databases comprise three Excel spreadsheets:

    Doane Data B: Cost Per Linear Yard.xlsx (448 products, 41 variables, B1, B2, ... , B42) Doane Data C: Cost Per Square Yard.xlsx
    (448 products, 51 variables, C1, C2, ... , C52) Doane Data F: Total Cost for Each Textile Mill (70 firms, 36 variables, F1, F2, ... , F32)


  • Weighting

    Product data are unweighted. However, scholars could, if desired, weight by firm size or other characteristics.
  • Technical Information

    Response Rates: This project comprises three databases containing data on firms, products, costs. inputs, outputs, and technology for 448 products made by 70 textile manufacturing firms surveyed over the period 1888-1890 in 16 states and published in the Seventh Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, Vol. I (1892). The U.S. Commissioner of Labor surveyed 84 firms, but 14 had so much missing information that analysis would not be productive. The resulting 70 firms and 448 products in these databases are best viewed not as a sample, but essentially as a population of all the known U.S. textile manufacturers at the time.
    Firm names and locations (except region: north or south) were originally hidden, in order to obtain cooperation in revealing firms' competitive data to the U.S. Commissioner of Labor. However, scholars have since discovered most of the textile mill names through careful matching of information in the report with other sources (see Doane pp. 51-54). Identification of each firm permitted augmenting the data (e.g., transportation costs) using other sources.


  • Technical Information

    Presence of Common Scales: Data include ratio data (e.g., cost, cloth parameters) and categorical data (e.g., region, product name, state). Each database is intended to be largely self-documenting so that variable types will be apparent.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1888-01-01 / 1890-12-31
    Time Period: Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1888--Wed Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 1890 (Late 19th century)
  • 1888-01-01 / 1890-12-31
    Collection Date(s): Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1888--Wed Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 1890 (compiled and augmented 1969-1971)
Geographic Coverage
  • 13 U.S. states in 3 regions
Sampled Universe
These 70 firms and their 448 products supposedly comprised all the large textile manufacturers of the time, so the data might be regarded as a universe (population) rather than as a sample. Of course, it is tautologically true that survey conducted in a different period of time would have yielded different costs, products, and technology. However, no comparable surveys are available, so if the main objective is cross-sectional analysis (as was the case in Doane's dissertation) the point is moot.
Smallest Geographic Unit: 13 US States in 3 regions
Sampling
During 1888-1890, the U.S. Commissioner of Labor surveyed 84 firms, but 14 had so much missing information that analysis would not be productive. The 70 firms and 448 products in these databases are best viewed not as a sample, but as a population of all the major U.S. textile manufacturers at the time.

Collection Mode
  • other~~

    The U.S. Commissioner of Labor, Carroll D. Wright, documented his methods in extraordinary detail. His meticulous efforts made his two-volume reports in 1889 and 1890 of exceptional value to scholars. Carroll also was the first to use machine tabulating methods in compiling and transforming the data. It is worth reading more about this extraordinary individual and the methods used in his census of manufacturing (particularly textiles, which are the subject of our data).

Availability
Download
Publications
  • Doane, David P. “Regional Cost Differentials and Textile Location: A Statistical Analysis.” Explorations in Economic History 9, no. 1 (1971): 3–34.

Update Metadata: 2019-08-01 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2019-08-01

Doane, David; Oakland University (2019): U.S. Textile Industry Location 1880-1900. Version: V0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/E111026