They Once Made America Great…But What Did Factories Really Represent? : A conversation with Joshua Freeman

March 14th, 2018

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We often hear that we live in a post industrial world. Yet all of those consumer goods we and the rest of the world love so much, are made in factories. Factories that, at the dawn of the industrial revolution, did not always represent the best of working conditions. Today, out of nostalgia, we romanticize them and long for the “big shoulders” of the industrial heartland.

Today things are still produced in factories. However, they are increasingly either located offshore, or are more and more manned by robots. Auto workers from the 50s and 60s would be shocked walking through the factory that turns out Teslas.

Yet in the minds of many, these factories represented something more than just places to make things. They were a symbol of another time and place. But one that we can still learn from, even in the digital age.

Few know more about his, than my guest Joshua Freeman the author of Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World.


My conversation with Joshua Freeman: