A newsletter of
the Association for Historical Research in Marketing (AHRIM)
Vol. 16 No. 1
Robert D. Tamilia
editor, University of Quebec at Montreal
As the recently appointed
editor of RIM, Retrospective in Marketing, the
Newsletter of the Association of Historical Research in
Marketing, I want to welcome back you back after such a long
absence. They say absence makes the heart go fonder so I hope our
loyal members did not fall out of love for us? I also want to
congratulate our new members for having seen the light and decided
to our join this very elite group of fine researchers and academics.
And for those who are not yet members, but just browsing around, I
hope that you will join us after glancing at the rich content of
This is my first issue of being
the Editor. I hope it won’t be my last? As you can well understand I
am new at this job. I made a call for help in mid August to all
members asking for their cooperation in submitting to me any
information that may be of interest to our members. Of course, the
news items had to have a historical significance more or less. A
number of weeks passed before I received feedback from a few
members. The information received in included in this issue of RIM.
As you can well understand, if I don’t get your input, the content
and frequency of the RIM will suffer. So please send me items
that you’ve come across that may be relevant to our members.
As in the past, I have
continued the tradition of having a section devoted to new
publications. I have taken the liberty of adding additional
editorial comments to the new information sources. After all, as the
editor it’s part of his job to add insightful comments. However, you
may find some of my comments to be rather neat picky. That’s ok
because I am a Virgo and we Virgos have a reputation of being very
meticulous and we love details. If you want to add comments to my
comments, feel free to let me know and I will make sure to include
them in the next issue of the RIM Newsletter, provided
of course that they can be printed!
11th CHARM ROMANCES
The 11th Conference
on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing was held last May 15
– 18 at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan. Over fifty
participants made this year’s attendance the highest since 1993.
Forty papers were presented at the conference; 26 full papers and 14
abstracts were published in the Conference Proceedings, “The
Romance of Marketing History”, edited by Eric Shaw. At the
conclusion of the conference, the Association for Historical
Research in Marketing held its biennial general meeting where new
board members and executive members were elected. Members of the
AHRIM voted to hold the 2005 CHARM in Long Beach, California where
Terry Witkowski will act as Arrangements Chair. Full minutes of the
AHRIM meeting, the 2005 Call for Papers, and other news arising from
the 11th CHARM can be found elsewhere on this website.
I know many of you are already
familiar with CHORD (www.wlv.ac.uk) but I simply want to make
sure you have all the details about this rather new group devoted
mainly to retailing history and consumption. CHORD was established
in Great Britain in September 1998, and it is located at the
University of Wolverhampton. The contact person is Laura Ugolini (firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHORD is the Centre for the History of
Retailing and Distribution at the University of Wolverhampton, Great
Britain. The name was changed recently (May 2003).
Before it was known as the Committee for the
History of Retailing and Distribution.
CHORD organizes a number of
conferences and seminars every year.
The latest conference called Trade:
Histories, Cultures and Economies, organized by CHORD, was held
on September 10-11, 2003 and the details as well as paper abstracts
are available on the web site called. If any of our members attended
the conference please make sure to send me information and I will
make sure to share this information with our members.
literature on marketing history
Here’s an interesting
new book for those marketing historian interested in retailing,
culture of consumption, and other related topics.
(2003), Mirror Mirror: A History of the Human Love Affair with
Reflection, NY: Basic Books.
One important fact in
the book is that Venice had a monopoly on the making of mirror until
France’s Louis 14th, bribed 2 disaffected workers to
learn about the making of mirror manufacturing, especially the use
of luminous mercury facing. The King guaranteed them safety and thus
France was able to break the monopoly. The Château of Versailles’
Hall of Mirrors is an example of what French tradesmen learned from
Venetians mirror manufacturers. I haven’t read this book yet but I
am keen on knowing if the author discusses AT Stewart’s huge custom
made mirrors installed in his 1846 Marble Place, the very first
department store (according to yours truly). Stewart wanted to
impress his customers by placing such mirrors in order to give the
appearance that the store was double its size. These mirrors were
made in France; the largest ever imported in the US at that time.
They measured 56 inches in width by 158 inches in height, or roughly
5 feet wide by 13 feet long. Notwithstanding the promotional spill
over effects the mirrors had on the Marble Palace, we cannot neglect
the amazing feat relating to the packing, transportation and
handling of such fragile goods over long distances. Their logistical
costs most have been enormous.
Urban History Yearbook
then Urban History
(the academic journal replacing the yearbook) has
been publishing a bibliography on historical articles and research
papers since 1974. The list is organized according to main themes by
section. Section V1 is on Economic and a sub-section is on
retailing. The list of journals consulted is impressive. Many are
rather esoteric and hard to locate. Nevertheless, the listing is
impressive and needs to be consulted from time to time. The list of
journals consulted now numbers close to 170. The number varies from
year to year due to additions and deletions. The list contains
articles in French, English, German, Italian, and Spanish. Many of
the publications are European based. However, some journals are
missing in the list such as: Accounting History, American Heritage,
American History, Journal of Macromarketing, and many
historically-oriented economic journals. The explanation is simple:
the list includes only those publications that are related directly
or indirectly to urban history.
www.kipnotes.com are an excellent source of historical
information pertinent to marketing. KIPnotes are “dedicated to
business history and management literacy.” You will find information
on books but not articles. The information is divided according to
(1) Business History
(2) Retail Early history to
(3) Retail History from 1850
Retail is further divided in
Retail Specialty, Retail
Discount, Retail Food, Retail Department Store.
KIPnotes also has interviews
and films. In fact it says the “largest multimedia collection of
business histories and management title available anywhere.” Entries
are organized by subject, company, year, author.
While the following
information source has been briefly described in the November issue,
I want to add more information without being redundant. The
University of Western Ontario has a neat web site devoted to
http://www.lib.uwo.ca/business/cohistbooks.html. Jerry Mulcahy,
Director-Business Library, has been working on a part-time project
for some time. In a correspondence I had with him here’s what he
It began simply
as a bibliography of corporate histories, which were available in
the libraries at the University of Western Ontario. Since there was
no easy way to locate them, I thought I would create a list. With
the development of the web, I thought I would make the list more
readily available to others. Then I began thinking about ways to
improve and expand the list. One of the things I have done is
provide some full text articles from old newspapers and added some
links. And so it goes. ..I have been trying to build a list by
industry, but I will warn you that it is not complete. Some of the
department stores are listed. For a good example of what I have
done, see Dupuis Frères, David Spencer, or Eaton’s. I also captured
the page from Montgomery Ward when it closed, but generally I am
trying to pay more attention to Canadian companies. While
technically the site could be better (with more cross-links, etc) it
still can be a useful research tool.
Richard Ivey School
of Business, University of Western Ontario London, Ontario.
The Canadian Centre
of Architecture (CCA) www.cca.qc.ca
For all those marketing historians interested
in architectural history, here’s a reference that cannot be missed.
I copied the following information for the web site.
“The Library of
the CCA is an international research collection devoted to the
history of architecture and the built environment. It comprises over
195,000 volumes with emphasis on rare books and special collections
relating to the history of architectural theory, practice, and
publishing from the fifteenth century to the present. It holds, in
addition, over 1,500 current serial subscriptions, over 3,000
retrospective serial titles and a variety of special materials.”
CCA also has an academic program a scholar
program. I copied the following information from the web site as
“Inaugurated in September 1997, the
Study Centre is an
international institute for advanced research at the postdoctoral
level on all aspects of architectural thought, promoting a broad
range of inquiry spanning the boundaries of the field and related
disciplines. As the CCA believes that scholarly research has
profound cultural implications and that scholars themselves bear
social responsibility, Visiting Scholars are encouraged to treat
architecture in all its dimensions as a public concern. The Visiting
Scholar Program promotes research of very specialized as well as
interdisciplinary kinds, offering a unique study environment and
full access to the outstanding resources of the
Library. Each year the
Visiting Scholars Program
appoints 7 to 15 scholars at various stages of their careers, with
highly diverse academic and professional accomplishments. The
program is guided in its development by a Consultative Committee
composed of CCA members and external advisers. This group of
specialists supervises the selection process and determines the
general direction of Study Centre programs. Visiting Scholars are
provided with generous stipends for periods of residency at the CCA
ranging from 3 to 8 months. Administrative and research support are
also provided as needed. ”
Cohen and Joel Rogers eds. (2000), Do Americans Shop Too Much?
Boston: Beacon Press.
Cohen, Nancy (2002),
America’s Marketplace: The History of
Shopping Centers, NY.
The last two books
are not yet available but I have ordered them via ILL So next issue
I will comment on them.
Gavin (2003), The Frozen Water Trade A
True Story, Hyperion.
The book was reviewed by Hardy
Green (2003), “The Man Who Brought Ice to the Masses,” Business
Week (February 24), p. 22. The book discusses Frederick Tudor, a
Boston entrepreneur who created the ice market in the early part of
the 19th c. In 1833, he delivered 100 tons of ice to
Calcutta. The natural ice market vanished when artificial (i.e.
manufactured) ice was made using new inventions in the mid 1800 and
beyond. Then, General Electric developed a small motor technology to
be used in electric refrigerators, and by 1937, 3 million US homes
had an electric refrigerator. And by 1950s, no more (artificial) ice
was delivered to the home. Who were the ones to sell this new
household invention? After all, if the spread of this technology was
so rapid, a ‘transvection’ (i.e. distribution chain had to develop
to makes them available and affordable to consumers. We all too
often forget the role played by wholesalers and retailers in the
spread of new technologies. For example, radio was first
commercialized in 1920 and by 1930, had of US households had a
radio. This rapid adoption of this new n product is far faster than
the Internet or even computers.
History and the Modern
Contrary to one’s
intuition, the modern corporation did not develop overnight. Yet
history books are full of references to companies such as the
Hudson’s Bay Company, Company of the North West, East India Company,
and so many others that we assumed such companies operated along the
similar lines as today’s modern private enterprises. Nothing can be
further from the truth. In makes us think about one of Bartels’
statement when he claimed “if there is no market, obviously there is
no marketing.” And if there is no private enterprise per se, can
there be marketing? That is why the following book is a good one to
and Adrian Wooldridge (2003), The
Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, Modern
Hudson’s Bay Company
received an exclusive charter from the British Crown in 1670. The
Bay up to 1846 “functioned explicitly as the agent of the British
government on the Pacific coast maintaining close contact with the
Foreign Office in London and executing (and to some degree) forming
official British policy.” It was a fur trading organization, at
least initially. It was also an arm of the government in the new
territory and was able to make laws as well as well has prosecuting
those who did not obey them. The full official name of the Company
as given in the Charter was “The Governor and Company of Adventurers
of England, trading into Hudson Bay.”
The following book is also
informative on the emergence of the modern corporation.
Pencak, and Conrad E. Wright eds. (1998),
New York and the Rise of
American Capitalism Economic Development and the Social and
Political History of an American State, 1780-1870,
NY: The New York Historical Society.
This book of readings has a
number of interesting points, especially Gregory Hunter’s discussion
in chapter 4 “The Manhattan Company:
Managing a Multi Unit Corporation in New York, 1799-1842,” pp.
124-146. We can see the interconnection of private enterprise and
the government to the point the author says
Manhattan Company was subject to scrutiny by both the populace and
the politicians. In nineteenth-century America, however, banking
also was a ‘public’ activity. In fact, all private corporations¾whether
organized for religious, educational, charitable or business
‘quasi public.’ Incorporation was a government way of protecting and
encouraging those enterprises it considered to be performing a
public service. After incorporation, such public services were
carefully watched in both their external and internal affairs
(Hunter, p. 133).
See also p. 173 for more
information on this topic. See also the following authors to know
more on the origin of the limited liability company.
H. A. (1931), “The Coming of General Limited Liability,” History
Review, Vol. 2 No. 6. Reprinted in E. M. Carus-Wilson ed.
(1954), Essays in Economic History, London: Edward Arnold
(Publishers) Ltd., pp. 358-379.
H. A. (1933), “The Limited Companies of 1866-1883,” Economic
History Review, Vol. 4 (October No. 3), pp. 290-316. Reprinted
in E. M. Carus-Wilson ed. (1954), Essays in Economic History,
London: Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd., pp. 380-405.
Williamson (1981), “The Modern Corporation: Origins, Evolution,
Attributes,” Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 19
(December), pp. 1537-1568. The author uses TCA, his particular niche
in the field of economics, to show how the modern corporation
John and Laura Ugolini eds. (2003), A
Nation of Shopkeepers Five Centuries of British Retailing,
London: I. B. Tauris.
The book is a set of readings
discussing the history of consumption and retail history in Britain.
The book “examines the complex relationship between retailing
development and the consuming environment”. The department store is
frequently mentioned and discussed but there are no individual
articles devoted to the subject matter. But the book present an
interesting hypothesis that “‘large scale retailing played a far
lesser role in the growth of the modern city than is generally
thought and how the success of department stores was determined less
by entrepreneurial ‘spirit’ and more by the unforeseen consequences
of legislation.” Retail history is by definition multidisciplinary à
la macromarketing, but at the same time specialized areas of study
are also de rigueur. For example, we can say that consumption
history (i.e. consumption historians) is a bone fide sub discipline
of retail history, which is also part of marketing history.
Contributions from our Members
information was provided by a number of our members. I want to thank
them for their time and effort.
In Summer 2003, the U.S. Public Broadcasting
System began airing a 10-part series called History Detectives.
If you have not yet seen the program, try to find it on your
With its rhythmic theme song and intro shot of
the four hosts striding down an urban street, History Detectives
pays tongue-in-cheek homage to standard cop shows, but instead of
shootings and drug busts, each episode solves three mysteries about
artifacts, folklore, and family legends.
Some of these segments touch upon marketing
history. For example, investigating whether a house in Akron, Ohio
was originally sold in kit form by Sears, Roebuck, led to findings
about the company’s early product adaptations and promotions.
Research into the ornate Al Ringling Theater in Baraboo, Wisconsin,
revealed information about the early marketing of motion pictures.
The real strength of History Detectives
is its emphasis upon methodology. Featured investigative techniques
have included ballistics and weapons dating, document examination
and paper analysis, property search, historical research, and much
more. Team members are invariably shown locating, evaluating, and
analyzing documents in libraries, historical societies, and
Examining primary sources may not be as quick
and painless as depicted on television (you don’t videotape the
tedious parts, after all), but it can be very satisfying and, with
luck, should produce original contributions to the field of
Series highlights, publicity, learning
activities, and quite a bit of additional information can be found
at the History Detectives website:
Visions in Marketing Theory and Practice
My book "Exotic Visions in Marketing Theory and
Practice" is to be translated into Chinese published by Sinotrust
Consulting of Bejing China. I have just received word that
Sinotrust has reached an agreement with Greenwood/Quorum, the
original publishers. Marketing historians will be interested because
much of the book is an intellectual history of marketing linking
trends in the fields to major scholars and chains of thought in the
18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
historians are not known as methodological zealots, but here is a
new book on historiography that you may find interesting and
useful. The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past, by
John Lewis Gaddis, Oxford University Press, had its origins in a
series of lectures Gaddis gave at Oxford and explores the
relationship between history and science. New York Times reviewer
Alan Brinkley describes it as a “brief, provocative and intelligent
examination of historical scholarship”.
While he has been
officially retired from Michigan State University for several years
now, Stan Hollander unofficially retired last year giving up his
office at the Eli Broad College of Business. One of his new-found
interests is BookTV, a 48 hour non-stop
weekend special on C-SPAN2. From recent weekly broadcasts Stan
recommends the following recently published books which may be of
interest to marketing historians.
Wheels for the
World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress,
1903-2003, by Douglas Brinkley, Viking Press.
Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe, by Peter
Spufford, Thames & Hudson Pub.
Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market, by
Eric Schlosser, Houghton Mifflin Co.
Spirits: Harvard Business School’s Extraordinary Class of 1949 and
How they Transformed American Business, by Forbes Inc. & David
Callahan, John Wiley & Sons.
Let’s hope that
the next issue of RIM will again be full of interesting and
Dr. Robert D. Tamilia
Professor of Marketing
École des sciences de la gestion
University of Quebec at Montreal
P.O. Box 6192 Succ. Downtown
Montreal, Quebec Canada H3C 4R2
(514) 987-3000 ext 3897
Fax (514) 987-0422