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Trade SecretsIntellectual Piracy and the Origins of American Industrial Power$
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Doron S. Ben-Atar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100068

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100068.001.0001

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The Path to Crystal Palace

The Path to Crystal Palace

(p.184) Chapter 7 The Path to Crystal Palace
Trade Secrets

Doron S. Ben-Atar

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the technological advancement in the United States during the period from the American Revolution to the Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851, a period during which US technology caught up with and surpassed its European rivals. The industrialization that took place along the northeastern seaboard in the first half of the nineteenth century facilitated a dramatic two-thirds growth in per capita income. The chapter reveals that the US economy grew faster and was more productive than that of any other nation in Europe. Contemporaries and historians have come up with a wide range of social, political, and cultural explanations for this dramatic development. The chapter finds that federal and state authorities were officially committed to respecting the intellectual property of others, yet, in fact, sanctioned smuggling of protected knowledge on a huge scale. American investors and mechanics also adapted imported technology to local circumstances.

Keywords:   manufacturing, machines, emigration, technology deficit, Hamiltonian economics

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