Ohio History Journal

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Ohio's Industrial Growth, 1900-1957,

Ohio's Industrial Growth, 1900-1957,

And Some Possibilities for Study




In discussing Ohio's or any other area's industrial growth, it

would be extremely difficult, and perhaps even naive or unrealistic,

to try to separate history from economics, fundamental from applied

research, commerce from romance, or chance from plan. These

elements are so intermingled in the development and expansion of

regions or countries and their industries that there is all the room

in the world for intellectual approaches by all the disciplines the

ever changing intelligence of man can devise.

At the outset, it will be helpful to point out that wherever refer-

ence is made in this paper to industry and to industrial growth, the

reference is to manufacturing and its growth. Other activities that

are frequently referred to as industries today--mining, agriculture,

insurance, banking, wholesaling, and transportation--are excluded,

although these have contributed greatly to Ohio's economic


For those of us engaged in the study of industrial growth for the

purpose of applying our findings perhaps to company decisions for

future industrial expansion or diversification, or to regional prepar-

ations for maintaining or restoring industrial balance or strength, it

is highly gratifying to find statistical and historical data available

in journals of the Ohio Historical Society and elsewhere upon which

to base some phases of our analyses. If we should expand or interpret

such data in special ways that may serve to modify or clarify them

for a given situation, we hope that we do so with the full approval


* Robert E. Holmes is assistant chief of the industrial economics division at the

Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus.

His article was originally in the form of a paper given at a session on "Manufactur-

ing in Ohio," during the seventy-second annual meeting of the Ohio Historical Society

at Columbus, April 27, 1957.