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Michigan Economic – Free Books and Articles Economic History

Michigan Economic - Free Books and Articles Economic History

Free books and articles on Michigan economic history, major industries of Michigan, development. Autos, mining, furniture, furs, logging.

Report of the Directors of the Michigan Central Railroad Company to the Stockholders

Together with the reports of the Treasurer and Superintendent. June 1854

Boston: Eastburn’s Press 1854

This report of about 35 pages contains financial reports; a report from the Directors that remarks on operations of each of the various lines, describing any issues experienced; the Treasurer’s Report, and the Superintendent’s Report about equipment, buildings, engines, machinery, track and other assets. At the back of the report is a collection of Tables showing passengers, passenger earnings, various kinds of freight and earnings therefrom, a list of all stations, and expenses by category. Railroads — Periodicals — Michigan.

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Detroit is My Own Home Town

Bingay, Malcolm Wallace
Bobbs-Merrill 1946

How Detroit Changed History

Bolan, Nelson
Brunswick 1987

Automobiles — History, Automobile industry and trade — History — Michigan — Detroit

Cornflake Crusade

Carson, Gerald
NY: Rinehart 1957

This extensively-researched popular history chronicles how Battle Creek, Michigan, became both a health center and the place where America’s breakfast cereal industry developed at the turn of the century. Carson tells how Battle Creek first hosted a famous sanitarium run by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943), under the initial sponsorship of the Seventh-Day Adventists, and featuring water cures, vegetarianism, exercise, and sexual abstinence. Kellogg, raised in an Adventist family, later parted company with that denomination over religious differences. His sanitarium encouraged other experimental medical enterprises, transforming Battle Creek into a place where entrepreneurs began to produce “healthy” foods such as crackers, coffee substitutes, and, especially, cereals. Charles W. Post, a disgruntled former Kellogg patient who practiced briefly as a healer himself, achieved early success manufacturing and marketing these new products. By standardizing sizes and recipes for such foods as Grape Nuts and Postum, and combining mass distribution methods with aggressive advertising techniques, Post achieved spectacular success with consumers and paved the way for a host of competitors. – Library of Congress American Memory website. Breakfast cereals–United States–History.

See our post on Edwin J. Hulbert and Mining in the U.P.

The Road is Yours; The Story of the Automobile and the Men Behind It

Cleveland, Reginald M. and Williamson, S. T.
NY: Greystone 1951

Automobiles — History.

Conspicuous Production: Automobiles and Elites in Detroit, 1899-1933

Davis, Donald Finlay
Temple University 1988

“With the founding of the American automotive industry in the 1890s, the social and economic community of Detroit was dramatically altered. In this first detailed examination of the relationship between the dominant industry and the social elite of Detroit, Donald Finlay Davis demonstrates how decisions and ambitions in one sphere fed into the other.Detroit’s automotive industry was socially divided, roughly along the lines of its own price-class hierarchy, and Davis argues that these divisions influenced community decision-making. Bridging the gap between urban and business history, Conspicuous Production traces how the social aspirations of the “gasoline aristocracy” profoundly influenced the models and marketing decisions of these fledgling companies.” – Publisher. Automobile industry and trade. Automobiles — Social aspects — History — United States.

See our books on What is Business Administration PDF

All Aboard! A History of Railroads in Michigan

Dunbar, Willis
Eerdmans 1966

Railroads — History — Michigan.

Corporate Power and Urban Crisis in Detroit

Ewen, Lynda Ann
Princeton University 1978

“Lynda Ann Ewen offers the first thoroughgoing Marxist-Leninist analysis, based on primary research, of the structure and dynamics of class relations and corporate power in a major U.S. metropolitan area. She contends that Detroit’s urban crisis is not a temporary aberration in a good system run amuck, but the logical result of years of social planning and the use of human and natural resources for the benefit of the few.” -Publisher. Social Classes & Economic Disparity, Corporate power — History — Michigan — Detroit.

Author: Lynda Ann Ewen is a professor of sociology at Marshall University, where she directs the Oral History of Appalachia Program and is co-director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Gender in Appalachia. -Google Books.

The Trail of the Lonesome Truck

A vivid recital of the unprecedented journey made by a three-ton Packard, the first heavy-duty motor vehicle to cross the continent on its own power

Fishleigh, W. T.
Detroit: Packard Motor Car Company 1911

With photos.

Ford Factory Facts

Ford Motor Company
Detroit: 1915

A 60-page public relations booklet providing a tour of a plant and the company, with numerous photos.

See also: Arnold, Horace Lucien and Faurote, Fay Leone, Ford Methods and the Ford Shops (1915) in Automobile History
Gibson, Charles R., The Romance of Modern Manufacture; a Popular Account of the Marvels of Manufacturing in American Companies & Industries

A Visit to the River Rouge Plant

Ford Motor Company
Detroit: Ford Motor Company 1937

Automobile factories — Michigan — Dearborn, Industrial tours — Michigan — Dearborn.

Auto history here at Century Past

“Early Settlement of the Copper Regions of Lake Superior”

Historical Collections Vol 7, 1886, 181-192

Forster, John Harris
Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society

Copper mines and mining–Superior, Lake, Region.

“Life in the Copper Mines of Lake Superior”

Historical Collections Vol 11, 1888, 175-186

Forster, John H.
Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society

Drawing from his own experience, the author provides a non-technical description of the life and work of pioneer miners who arrived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the region’s early days, and the slow and strenuous process of developing a mine and supporting town. He also compares some of the processes of the pioneer miner to the ‘modern’ mining techniques at the time of writing, in the 1880s. Copper mines and mining–Superior, Lake, Region.

“The Early Railroads of Southern Michigan”

Michigan Historical Collections vol. 38 (1919) pp 498 – 501

Frost, Clarence
Lansing: The Michigan Historical Society

Describes the first roads and early railroads. The first major road was the Chicago turnpike from Detroit, built from 1825-30, and the first railroad in SE Michigan was completed from Port Lawrence (Toledo) to Adrian in 1836. This Erie & Kalamazoo line had wooden rails and, at first, horse-drawn coaches. Railroads–Michigan–History.

For more books on railroads in U.S. history, see: Railroad History.

See our post on Magazines for Farmers 1850-1900s

Driving Detroit: The Quest for Respect in the Motor City

Galster, George C.
University of Pennsylvania 2012

“For most of the twentieth century, Detroit was a symbol of American industrial might, a place of entrepreneurial and technical ingenuity where the latest consumer inventions were made available to everyone through the genius of mass production. Today, Detroit is better known for its dwindling population, moribund automobile industry, and alarmingly high murder rate. In Driving Detroit, author George Galster, a fifth-generation Detroiter and internationally known urbanist, sets out to understand how the city has come to represent both the best and worst of what cities can be, all within the span of a half century. Galster invites the reader to travel with him along the streets and into the soul of this place to grasp fully what drives the Motor City.” -Publisher. Detroit (Mich.) — Social conditions — 21st century — Economic conditions — Race relations, Suburban life — Michigan — Detroit.

“Forestry in Michigan”

Michigan Historical Collections vol. 35 (1907) pp. 176- 180

Garfield, Charles W.
Lansing: The Michigan Historical Society

The author of this sharp criticism of the forestry industry in Michigan writes, “It is the next fellow [after the pioneers who arrived to farm] that I criticize, the man that gathered where he had not strewn, the lumberman that cut ruthlessly, and with the hand of vandalism, into this wondrous wealth of Michigan and left as his legacy little to stand for the wealth he swept away except a desolate landscape and a crop of millionaires.” Forests and forestry–Michigan.

Hotchkiss, George Woodward, History of the Lumber and Forest Industry of the Northwest in Economic History in the Great Lakes Region

History of Medicine and Surgery in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Graves, Schuyler C., M.D.
Grand Rapids?: 1891?

Medicine — History — Michigan.

When Beaver was King

Hamil, Frederick Coyne
Detroit: Wayne University 1951

A light, brisk overview of the fur trade, which dominated the economy of New France when Michigan was under French rule. Fur trade–Michigan–Detroit.

For works on the “Indian trade”, or fur trade, see:
– Adams, J. A., “The Indian Trader of the Upper Ohio Valley” in Ohio Economic History
Stevens, Wayne E., “The Organization of the British Fur Trade 1760-1800″ in “The Indian Trader of the Upper Ohio Valley” in Ohio Economic History;
Johnson, Ida Amanda, The Michigan Fur Trade in Michigan Economic History;
Turner, Frederick Jackson, The Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin; a study of the Trading Post as an Institution in Wisconsin Economic History;
Way, Royal B., “The United States Factory System for Trading with the Indians, 1796-1822″ in Economic History in the Great Lakes Region

The History of Michigan Wines: 150 Years of Winemaking along the Great Lakes

Hathaway, Lorri
History Press 2010

“Savor the taste of wines inspired by the Great Lakes as enthusiasts Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis introduce passionate winemakers like Joseph Sterling, who ignited Michigan’s first viable wine region in the 1800s along Lake Erie. Discover how the Detroit River was used for bootlegging during Prohibition, how the raid on red wine in the Upper Peninsula generated national headlines and how Michigan became the first to repeal. Learn about the wineries that boosted production to make Michigan a leading wine producer through the 1960s, when the changing marketplace caused a slump in production and sales. Since then, new grape varietals have spurred resurgence in the industry, garnering Michigan worldwide attention for its locally influenced wines. Discover Michigan’s vibrant wine history, which is vital to the second most agriculturally diverse state and top tourism region becoming a premier agritourism destination.” -Publisher. Wineries — Directories — Michigan, Wine and wine making — History — Michigan — Great Lakes Region (North America).

Vein of Iron; The Pickands Mather Story

Havighurst, Walter
Cleveland: World 1958

Pickands Mather & Co. was founded in 1883 to mine iron ore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and went on to become a major company with interests in mining, ore processing, dock management and steamships around the Great Lakes. Iron industry and trade — Northwest, Old.

The Great Railroad Conspiracy; The Social History of a Railroad War

Hirschfeld, Charles
Michigan State College 1953

“This is a tale of war, a rallroad war, such as flared up ln the United States in many places dur1ng the nineteenth century, when railroads were new and fearsome things. The field of battle was the young state of M1chigan about one hundred years ago, and the combatants were farmers and the blggest railroad in the state. Violence, arson, intrigue, money, and public opinion were the weapons; life, liberty, and property were the goals that drove men on in this dramatic conflict that stirred the state from lake to lake.” -book excerpt. Railroads–Michigan–History.

Transactions of the State Agricultural Society, with reports of County Agricultural Societies, for 1850

Holmes, J. C. Secretary Michigan State Agricultural Society
Lansing: Ingals 1851

This is of interest partly for the way it shows how government at all levels in Michigan, from the state’s earliest days, promoted a scientific approach to agriculture by Michigan farmers. Through local societies, county and state fairs, and various modes of education, the most advanced practices of the day were collected, discussed and disseminated. Participation was open to anyone.

“The Epidemic of 1848 in Shiawassee County”

Historical Collections Vol 28, 1900, 506-511

Huggins, Andrew
Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society

The author recalled when the villages of Corunna and Owosso were hit by an epidemic of a disease unknown at the time. He describes the efforts of doctors and residents to diagnose it and find remedies.

“History of Asylums for the Insane in Michigan”

Historical Collections Vol 13, 1889, 292-307

Hurd, Henry M.
Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society

“The establishment of the Michigan Asylum for the Insane, at Kalamazoo, was the outcome of a philanthropic movement for the relief and care of the insane, inaugurated by Dorothea L. Dix, then of Boston, whose life was consecrated to humanitarian work.” Prior to this movement, there were no public institutions dedicated for the care of people with serious mental illness. 1848 Gov. Ransom recommended establishment of a hospital for the insane and an asylum for the deaf and dumb. It was not until 1853 that a site was finally chosen and work begun, about one mile from the village of Kalamazoo. The asylum for the deaf and dumb was meanwhile established in Flint. This article mainly focuses on work by the state legislature to found the Kalamazoo asylum, and three later asylums for the insane in Pontiac, Traverse City and Ionia. Psychiatric hospitals; Michigan; Kalamzoo; History., Psychiatric hospitals — History — Michigan — Kalamzoo, History.

The Dodge Brothers: The Men, the Motor Cars, and the Legacy

Hyde, Charles K.
Wayne State University 2005

At the start of the Ford Motor Company in 1903, the Dodge Brothers supplied nearly every car part needed by the up-and-coming auto giant. After fifteen years of operating a successful automotive supplier company, much to Ford’s advantage, John and Horace Dodge again changed the face of the automotive market in 1914 by introducing their own car. The Dodge Brothers automobile carried on their names even after their untimely deaths in 1920, with the company then remaining in the hands of their widows until its sale in 1925 to New York bankers and subsequent purchase in 1928 by Walter Chrysler. The Dodge nameplate has endured … Automobile engineers, Corporate & Business History, Automobile Industry.

Contents: Growing Up in Niles, Michigan, and the Long Road to the Dodge Brothers Machine Shop in Detroit — Automotive Suppliers to Ransom Olds and Henry Ford, 1901-1914 — The First Dodge Brothers Automobile — A Successful Car and a Successful Company, 1915-1920 — The Dodge Brothers in Perspective — Dodge Brothers under Frederick J. Haynes, 1920-1925 — The Dillon, Read Years and the Merger with the Chrysler Corporation, 1925-1928 — Retrospective: The Dodge Brothers, the Motor Cars, and the Legacy

Story of the Grand Rapids Strike

Irwin, R. W.

Subtitle: “Address delivered at the Semi-Annual Meeting of the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers held at Indianapolis, Dec. 6 and 7, 1911”
This is about a city-wide strike of furniture workers in 1910. Grand Rapids had 9,000 workers in 53 furniture factories at the time, according to the author. Strikes and lockouts, Grand Rapids (Mich.) — History, Furniture industry and trade — Michigan — Grand Rapids.

For more on the furniture industry, see the histories of Grand Rapids at: History of Michigan Cities, Counties & Regions

Also see: Mitchell, John, Organized Labor, its Problems, Purposes and Ideals, and the Present and Future of American Wage Earners in Working, Labor.

Eighty Acres: Elegy for a Family Farm

Jager, Ronald
Beacon 1990

In this richly detailed memoir, Ronald Jager evokes rural America of 50 years ago and a boy’s life on a small family farm in Michigan. “Jager’s memoir is full of life, an act of preservation tendered to us from an irresistible perspective of love”.–The New York Times Book Review. Farm life — Michigan.

Author: RONALD JAGER, formerly a professor of Philosophy at Yale University, grew up on a family farm in Michigan. He has written books on philosophy and history and numerous informal essays, and he is the author of the well-known Eighty Acres (1990) and Last House on the Road (1994). … Google Books

The Michigan Fur Trade

Johnson, Ida Amanda
Lansing: Michigan Historical Publications 1919

This is a much more thorough study of the Michigan fur trade than the work by Hamil on this page. The book first explains the background on French development of the North American trade, and the establishment of early Michigan posts in Sault Ste. Marie, Michilimackinac, and Fort St. Joseph. Founded in 1701, Detroit becomes “The Great Depot of Trade”. The British take over Michigan and its fur trade in the 1760s, and continue to dominate both into the 1790s, even though Great Britain had formally surrendered Michigan to the U.S. in the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783. When the British finally departed the fur trade was continued for decades by American companies like John Jacob Astor’s. Michigan — History, Fur trade — Michigan.

For works on the “Indian trade”, or fur trade, see:
– Adams, J. A., “The Indian Trader of the Upper Ohio Valley” in Ohio Economic History
Stevens, Wayne E., “The Organization of the British Fur Trade 1760-1800″ in “The Indian Trader of the Upper Ohio Valley” in Ohio Economic History;
Turner, Frederick Jackson, The Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin; a study of the Trading Post as an Institution in Wisconsin Economic History;
Way, Royal B., “The United States Factory System for Trading with the Indians, 1796-1822″ in Economic History in the Great Lakes Region

“An Historical Sketch of Internal Improvements in Michigan, 1836-1846”

Publications of the Michigan Political Science Association Vol. IV No. 1 July 1900

Keith, Hannah Emily
Michigan Political Science Association

48-page paper published as a booklet. Railroads–Michigan. Canals–Michigan.

Books about crime in Michigan

The Battle Creek Sanitarium; History, Organization, Methods

Kellogg, John Harvey, M.D.
Battle Creek: 1913

The Battle Creek Sanitarium was founded in 1866 by a group of Seventh-day Adventists to implement revolutionary dietary and health principles, and became famous worldwide in the late 19th century for its water and fresh air treatments, exercise regimens and diet reform. This informational booklet, containing numerous photos, was authored by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Director for 65 years. The Sanitarium and Dr. Kellogg were portrayed in the 1994 comedy film “The Road to Wellville”, starring Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Broderick, and Bridget Fonda.
C.W. Post, who had been a patient at the Sanitarium in 1891 and became fascinated by the health foods found there, established the Post cereal company in Battle Creek. Dr. Kellogg’s younger brother, who worked at the Sanitarium for many years, founded the Kellogg’s cereal company. Hospitals — Michigan — Battle Creek, Health resorts — Michigan — Battle Creek.

A Little Journey to the Home of Kellogg’s Toasted Corn Flakes

Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Company
Battle Creek: Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Company 1916

Subtitle: “which is also the home of other good things to eat”.
35-page promotional publication with numerous photos of the plant. Cereal products industry — Michigan — Battle Creek, Cereals, Prepared.

Dodge Dynasty: The Car and the Family that Rocked Detroit

Latham, Caroline, and Agresta, David
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1989

The definitive biography of the Dodge family, whose fortunes and misfortunes rocked Detroit, the automotive industry, and America for the better part of the 20th century. Photos. Automobile industry and trade — History — Michigan — Detroit.

Historic Michigan plat maps

Motor Memories; A Saga of Whirling Gears

Lewis, Eugene W.
Detroit: Alved 1947

The early history of Detroit autos, and the men who built them. Automobile industry and trade–United States. Automobiles–History.

Lumber Bibliography of Michigan

Lloyd, William B.
East Lansing: Michigan State University 1961

Two Hundred and Fifty Years of Michigan Dairying

Lucas, P. S.
Lansing: American Dairy Association of Michigan 1955

A 45-page booklet, including many illustrations. Dairying — History — Michigan, Dairying.

A Most Unique Machine; the Michigan Origins of the American Automobile Industry

May, George S.
Eerdmans 1974

Explores the formative years of the American automobile industry, tracing the rise of automobile manufacturing in Michigan cities between the mid 1890s and 1910 and profiling the people involved. Automobile industry and trade — History — Michigan.

Author: Born and educated in Michigan, the late Dr. George S. May devoted most of his career to teaching, studying, and writing about the state’s history. His two-volume Pictorial History of Michigan, published in the late 1960s, has virtually become a classic of its genre and subject matter. Given the state’s industrial distinction and his own expertise, Dr. May also wrote A Most Unique Machine: The Michigan Origins of the American Automobile Industry, and R.E. Olds: Auto Industry Pioneer.

Upper Michigan vacation books

The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost their Grip on the American Car Market

Maynard, Micheline
Currency/Doubleday 2003

“An in-depth, hard-hitting account of the mistakes, miscalculations and myopia that have doomed America’s automobile industry. In the 1990s, Detroit’s Big Three automobile companies were riding high. The introduction of the minivan and the SUV had revitalized the industry, and it was widely believed that Detroit had miraculously overcome the threat of foreign imports and regained its ascendant position. As Micheline Maynard makes brilliantly clear in THE END OF DETROIT, however, the traditional American car industry was, in fact, headed for disaster. Maynard argues that by focusing on high-profit trucks and SUVs, the Big Three missed a golden opportunity to win back the American car-buyer. Foreign companies like Toyota and Honda solidified their dominance in family and economy…” -Publisher. Automobile industry and trade — United States, Automobile industry and trade — Michigan, Corporate & Business History.

Author: MICHELINE MAYNARD covers the automobile and airline industries for The New York Times and has written for Fortune, USA TODAY, Newsday, and U.S. News & World Report. She is a lecturer on the global auto industry at the University of Michigan School of Business, and is the author of two books, including Collision Course Inside the Battle for General Motors.

Black Detroit and the Rise of the UAW

Meier, August, and Rudwick, Elliott
Oxford University 1979

“For almost two decades, August Meier and Elliott Rudwick have roamed the frontier of Afro-American history, blazing trails that others have followed. This book forges a solid link between race and class conflict in the twentieth century.” —Ira Berlin, The Nation. “This fact-filled study is essential to students of the labor and civil rights movements.”
—David Kusnet, The New Republic. African American labor union members — Michigan — Detroit, African Americans — Employment — Michigan — Detroit.

See our Economics Books PDF

Michigan Airports

Michigan Board of Aeronautics
Lansing?: 1944

Airports–Michigan. Aeronautics and state — Michigan.

Medical History of Michigan, Volume 1

Michigan State Medical Society
Minneapolis: Bruce. 1930

“This illustrated volume presents information about medical developments in Michigan in the early and middle nineteenth century in loosely-organized chapters. The material is drawn from reminiscences, historical chronicles, anecdotes, scholarly journals, letters, and biographical as well as autobiographical accounts. Topics include Native American medicine; physicians who accompanied the European and early American explorers of the upper Northwest; the development of Michigan’s medical education and public health resources; diseases and epidemics; insects; homeopathy; diagnostic aids; medical equipment; and therapeutic practice.” -Publisher. Medicine — History — Michigan, Physicians — History — Michigan, Physicians — Biography — Michigan, Medicine — Michigan, Physicians — Michigan.

Also see:
– Dittrick, Howard, “The Equipment, Instruments and Drugs of Pioneer Physicians of Ohio” in Ohio Economic History
Juettner, Otto, Daniel Drake and his Followers: Historical and Biographical Sketches, 1785-1909 in Biographies & Memoirs in Ohio History;
Kemper, G. W. H., A Medical History of the State of Indiana in Indiana Economic History;
Zeuch, Lucius H., M.D., compiled, History of Medical Practice in Illinois in Illinois Economic History;
Frank, Louis Frederick (Dr.), The Medical History of Milwaukee: 1834-1914 in Wisconsin Economic History

Kilowatts at Work; A History of the Detroit Edison Company

Miller, Raymond C.
Detroit: Wayne State University 1957

Detroit Edison Company. Electric utilities — History — Michigan, Southeastern.

The Menominee Iron Range

Its cities, their industries and resources, being a sketch of the discovery and development of the great iron ore beds of the North, situated within portions of the States of Michigan and Wisconsin south of Lake Superior : submitted as a hand-book for the information of those seeking a profitable field for labor and investment. With maps and illustrations

Nursey, Walter R.
Milwaukee: Swain & Tate 1891

On the page facing the title page is written, “A business invitation to the Menominee Iron Range Addressed to You, from the Lumberman and the Miner. ” Despite the book being aimed at attracting investors, it appears to be a substantive history and description of the mining region. Menominee Range (Mich. and Wis.), Iron mines and mining — Michigan — Wisconsin, Michigan — History, Iron industry and trade — Michigan, Menominee Valley, Mineral industries — Michigan.

Contents: The Menominee River Country – the Old and the New – The Menominee Iron Range – Discovery and Development – The Ore and the Iron of the Menominee – Comparative and Affirmative – The Iron Mines of the Menominee Range – Facts and Fancies – The Cities and Towns of the Range – Their Industries and their Resources — Norway — Iron Mountain — Florence — Crystal Falls — Iron River

Report of the Directors to the Stockholders of the Pewabic Mining Company. Issued May 10, 1859

Pewabic Mining Company
Boston: Rand & Avery 1859

The Pewabic company operated three copper mines in Houghton County, on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Northern Michigan. Copper mines and mining — Periodicals — Michigan — Houghton County.

History of the Navigation of the Great Lakes

Plumb, Ralph Gordon
Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1911

In 1911 the Congressional Committee on Railways and Canals had recently reviewed several proposals for canals connected to the Great Lakes that would create new or shorter waterways to enhance commerce. The chairman of the Committee authorized the printing of this 80-page early history of Great Lakes navigation as a part of the committee’s records, presumably because it covered previous attempts to build canals, and efforts to otherwise improve Great Lakes waterways and port facilities. Chapter headings are:

– The Beginnings – The Era of Expansion and Development – The Age of Steel – The History of Lake Superior – The United States Harbor Improvements on the Lakes – Canadian Harbor Improvements on the Lakes – The Lighthouse, Life- Saving, and Revenue- Cutter Systems – Disasters on the Lakes – Marine Employers’ and Employees’ Organizations – Economic Effects of the Great Lakes

For works on boats and shipping, see: Navigation on the Great Lakes & the Region’s Rivers

Also see books on ships and seamanship in: Ships & Seamanship.

The Turning Wheel; the Story of General Motors through Twenty-five years, 1908-1933

Pound, Arthur
NY: Doubleday, Doran 1934

“ …GENERAL MOTORS in 1933 reached its twenty-fifth milestone. Since the founding of General Motors Company of New Jersey in 1908, the growth of the organization has contributed a unique chapter to American industrial history. From beginnings so small that its birth escaped notice in financial centers, General Motors has worked its way steadily forward to a place where its leadership in many of the most exacting branches of production and distribution is taken for granted and where it meets the public of many lands with a wide variety of merchandise and services.” -Book excerpt. Automobile Industry, Corporate & Business History.

The City Built on Wood: A History of the Furniture Industry in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1850-1950

Ransom, Frank Edward
Ann Arbor: Edwards 1955

Furniture industry and trade — History — Michigan — Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids (Mich.) — History, Furniture industry and trade — Michigan — Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids (Mich.) — Industries.

Michigan Iron Mines

Reed, Robert C.
Michigan Dept of Conservation 1957

Iron mines and mining — Michigan.

When Pine was King

Reimann, Lewis Charles
Ann Arbor: Reimann 1952

A light and entertaining popular history of the timber industry in the upper peninsula. Lumbering–Michigan–Upper Peninsula. Lumber camps. Frontier and pioneer life–Michigan–Upper Peninsula.

Author: Lewis Charles Reimann (1890-1961) was an American author, camp operator, politician and football player. Reimann, a descendant of German immigrants, grew up surrounded by the lumber and mining booms in the Iron River district. Reimann played college football for the Michigan Wolverines in 1914 and 1915. He founded the University of Michigan Fresh Air Camp for underprivileged boys in 1921. Six years later, in 1927, he founded Camp Charlevoix which he operated until 1948. In the 1950s, Reimann wrote several books on the history of the Upper Peninsula and the Gogebic Range.

See also: Hotchkiss, George Woodward, History of the Lumber and Forest Industry of the Northwest in Economic History in the Great Lakes Region

“The Fur Traders of the Grand River Valley”

Publications of the Historical Society of Grand Rapids No. 2, Vol. 1, Part 2

Richmond, Rebecca L.
Grand Rapids: Historical Society 1907

Fur trade — Michigan. Grand River Valley (Mich.)–Biography.

For works on the “Indian trade”, or fur trade, see:
– Adams, J. A., “The Indian Trader of the Upper Ohio Valley” in Ohio Economic History
Stevens, Wayne E., “The Organization of the British Fur Trade 1760-1800″ in “The Indian Trader of the Upper Ohio Valley” in Ohio Economic History;
Johnson, Ida Amanda, The Michigan Fur Trade in Michigan Economic History;
Turner, Frederick Jackson, The Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin; a study of the Trading Post as an Institution in Wisconsin Economic History;
Way, Royal B., “The United States Factory System for Trading with the Indians, 1796-1822″ in Economic History in the Great Lakes Region

A Trip Through the Most Modern Salt Plant

Ruggles and Rademaker
Manistee, MI: Ruggles and Rademaker 1924

Salt industry and trade — Michigan — Manistee. Ruggles & Rademaker.

A True Description of the Lake Superior Country

Its rivers, coasts, bays, harbours, islands and commerce, with Bayfield’s chart (showing the boundary line as established by joint commission) also a minute account of the copper mines and working companies. Accompanied by a map of the mineral regions; showing, by their no. and place, all the different locations: and containing a concise mode of assaying, treating, smelting, and refining copper ores

St. John, John R.
NY: Graham 1846

This book was written in the early part of the era of copper mining in the upper peninsula. It was intended as an effort to map and describe the locations of mines and mineral deposits in the region where they exist. The first portion of 50 pages or so is mainly a travelogue, describing the route to the copper country along Lake Superior shores, the geography of the region where the mines are located, and the harbor towns.

“This descriptive discussion of the Lake Superior country emphasizes geographical features and is directed primarily towards those interested in locating and exploiting the region’s mineral deposits of copper and iron. Nevertheless, it is written as a travel narrative, with the author progressing along the shoreline areas, noting their scenic beauties and providing anecdotes and opinions along the way. The reader is told what to wear and what transportation facilities and amenities will be found en route. The book lists mining companies already functioning in the area and gives information about their management and the nature of their operations. Among other information, there is also a glossary of mining terms, a list of grantees, a short vocabulary of French and local Indian words, and a list of steamship and sailing vessels.” -Library of Congress American Memory website. Copper mines and mining–Michigan. Upper Peninsula (Mich.)–Description and travel.

Also see the histories of Northern Michigan at: History of Michigan Cities, Counties & Regions

Links to Museums & Historic Sites in the Michigan U.P.: Museums & Historic Sites in Northern Michigan

Detroit: An Industrial Miracle

Stark, George W.
Detroit: Detroit Directory of Business and Industry 1951

Industries — History — Michigan — Detroit, Factories — History — Michigan — Detroit, Detroit (Mich.) — Industries — History, Automobile industry and trade — History — Michigan — Detroit.

Miracle Bridge at Mackinac

Steinman, David Barnard
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1957

Mackinac Bridge (Mich.)

Author: David Barnard Steinman was an American civil engineer. He was the designer of the Mackinac Bridge and many other notable bridges, and a published author. He grew up in New York City’s lower Manhattan, and lived with the ambition of making his mark on the Brooklyn Bridge that he lived under. -Wikipedia

The Studebaker Automobile Book

The Studebaker Corporation of America
Detroit: Studebaker 1914

Studebaker’s catalog of new cars for 1914.

Sixty to Zero: An Inside Look a the Collapse of General Motors – and the Detroit Auto Industry

Taylor, Alex III
Yale University 2010

“The collapse of General Motors captured headlines in early 2009, but as Alex Taylor III writes in this in-depth dissection of the automaker’s undoing, GM’s was a meltdown forty years in the making. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience and insight as an automotive industry reporter, as well as personal relationships with many of the leading players, Taylor reveals the many missteps of GM and its competitors.” -Publisher. Automobile industry and trade — History — Michigan — Detroit, Bankruptcy — History — Michigan — Detroit.

“The Wild Cat Banking System of Michigan”

Historical Collections Vol 5, 1884, 209-222

Utley, H. M.
Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society

The author provides a brief background history of banking and finance in Michigan as it existed before President Andrew Jackson revoked the charter of the Bank of the United States, which contributed to a sudden financial crisis throughout the country in 1836-7. In response to the depressed economy, the Michigan state legislature passed an 1837 act that made it possible for anyone who wished to do so to transact “banking business”. The author then addresses the history of the “Wild Cat Banks” that were enabled by the Act; explaining their financial operations and describing some spectacular frauds. Free banking — History.

The History of Dentistry in Michigan

Vedder, Francis B., DDS
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan 1925


Beard’s directory and history of Marquette County [Mich.] with sketches of the early history of Lake Superior, its mines, furnaces, etc., etc.

Walker, Charles Irish
Detroit: Hadger & Bryce 1873

Of interest mainly for the essays within it. They are:

“The Early History of Lake Superior. Sketch of the early explorations, with a notice of the missionaries and their labors” by C. I. Walker. Pp 165-200.
” A Sketch of some of the Mines and Furnaces of Lake Superior” anonymous. Pp 201-240.

Appendix: “A Stranger’s Impression of Marquette County”pp I-XIII. Iron mines and mining — Michigan — Marquette County, Iron industry and trade — Michigan — Marquette County, Mines and mineral resources — Superior, Lake.

Wendell’s History of Banking & Banks & Bankers of Michigan vol 1

Volume 2

A concise history of banking operations from the earliest time to the present, with detailed accounts of Michigan banking history & law, & sketches of leading banks & bankers of the state as they are at the opening of the twentieth century

Wendell, Emory
Detroit: Winn & Hammond 1902

In the Preface, the author wrote that, “It has been the aim to give, in the first twenty chapters, … a concise and comprehensive account of the most important facts and incidents of banking history in Europe and in the United States. The rest of the work is devoted chiefly to the history of bank legislation in Michigan, to an account of Michigan banks as they are at the opening of the twentieth century, and to brief biographical sketches of men who have been prominent in this useful field of finance.” Chapters on Michigan banking are:

Volume 1
– The Detroit Banks – Bank Legislation as it Now Stands

Volume 2
– Early Banking in Michigan – The Wild- Cat Banks – Foundation of the Modern System – The General Banking Law of 1888 – Operation of the General Banking Law – The Business of Trust Companies – The Banks and Financial Crises – The Grand Rapids Banks – The Saginaw Banks – The Banks of the Bay Cities – Banks in other Cities and Towns. Banks and banking — History — Michigan. Free banking — History.

“The Early History of the Furniture Industry in Grand Rapids”

Publications of the Historical Society of Grand Rapids No. 5, Vol. 1, Part 5

Widdicomb, William
Grand Rapids: Historical Society 1909

Furniture industry and trade–Michigan–Grand Rapids–History. Grand Rapids (Mich.) — History.

“The Public Domain, its Surveys and Surveyors”

Historical Collections Vol 27, 1897, 306-323

Woodard, C. S.
Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society

This article begins with the historical background of the Ordinance of 1785, which provided the basis for surveys of public lands in the Northwest Territory. The author goes on to describe in detail the actual work of surveying by teams, including the practical problems they encountered in making and documenting accurate surveys. In addition he describes how the survey teams managed to live in the wilderness as they did their work. Although there is no profile of the author, he clearly was very familiar with the life and work of surveyors. Surveying — Public lands — United States, United States — Surveys — History, United States — Surveys, Surveying — Public lands — History — United States.

Detroit and its Banks; The Story of Detroit Bank & Trust

Woodford, Arthur M.
Wayne State University 1974

Detroit Bank and Trust Company–History. Banks and banking–History.

Author: Arthur M. Woodford has written extensively about Detroit and Michigan history. Among his many published works are the two volumes of Tonnancour: Life in Grosse Pointe and along the Shores of Lake St. Clair. -Google Books.

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