Matthew Boultonfs Sales in Christiefs -A Review of Research Trends -
AbstractResearch about Matthew Boulton in recent years indicates that the background for his business product development was based not only on management plans for his steam engine, but also on cultural factors and new global businesses, e.g. coinage. The Bank of England launches a new ’50 note in 2011, featuring Matthew Boulton. It seems that the role of Matthew Boulton in the Industrial Revolution has come to be evaluated highly by the UK public. Boultonfs ormolu business has still been underestimated in economic and business history. However, if we look at the expansion of manufacturing ormolu, which was the core business, as was the gtoyh trade in his early career, it has been found that Boulton intended to expand the market by new lines of consumer goods and the adoption of neo-classical design. Products were diversified by the development of Blue John ware in combination with ormolu. Boulton also attempted new style sales e.g. exhibitions, where he invited the upper classes, including the royal family. Some of these attempts were not successful. From the gwindow dressingh of sales and fictitious names of bidders on sales in 1771, we know that the financial result was a failure, and also that Boulton had a hard time to find ways to deal with the result of the sales. The adoption of neo-classical design for his products could not be said to have increased sales. However, analysis of the sales in 1771 shows Boulton tried to sell not only adornment, but also many practical products with associated decoration. This method of combining decoration and practical use was visible in many Boulton products after the sales in 1771. Boultonfs business did not simply shift from decorative products to the steam engine, but also to adornments to products which had both a decorative and a practical function. The technique, accumulated in the development and manufacturing of the adornments, was combined with a practical function such as the movement of the hall clock. This had a great influence on later business, e.g. the steam engine. In other words, the experience of sales in 1771 was not a purely negative experience, but a hint of business to come in the later career of Matthew Boulton.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in its series Discussion Papers in Economics and Business with number 12-06.
Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Matthew Boulton; Industrial Revolution; Economic History; Business History;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
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