IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Colouring markets: The industrial transformation of the dyestuff business revisited


  • Alexander Engel


Using British and German price and trade data, the development of European dye markets in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is analysed. Traditionally, the markets were divided into a commercially important segment of premium dyes and a low-cost segment for mass consumption. The rise of industrially produced dyes came later and was more long-drawn-out than commonly assumed. Initially premium dyes did not enter the mass market before the 1880s, and even then no cost advantage over main natural dyes was achieved. Instead, newly created path dependencies and superior business organisation seem to have been the key to their success.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Engel, 2012. "Colouring markets: The industrial transformation of the dyestuff business revisited," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(1), pages 10-29, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:54:y:2012:i:1:p:10-29
    DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2011.617205

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:54:y:2012:i:1:p:10-29. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.