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UAL Research Online

James Morrison (1789-1857), 'Napoleon of Shopkeepers,' Millionaire Haberdasher, Modern Entrepreneur

Dakers, Caroline (2005) James Morrison (1789-1857), 'Napoleon of Shopkeepers,' Millionaire Haberdasher, Modern Entrepreneur. In: Fashion and Modernity. Berg, Oxford, pp. 17-32. ISBN 1845200276

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Dakers, Caroline

My chapter in 'Fashion and Modernity' uses unpublished archival material to examine the business activities of the textile merchant James Morrison (1789-1857). Are they early examples of ‘modern’ business practices? How far is Morrison’s domination of the textiles market a precursor of contemporary high street merchandising?

It is the second publication to emerge from my research (I am writing a biography of three generations of the Morrisons for Yale), using the considerable family archive of unpublished letters, diaries and business accounts to which I have been given exclusive access. While the significance to economic history of Morrison’s ‘high turnover, low profit’ mass marketing of textiles and mercantile activities in North America has been recognised by social historians (Rubinstein, Daunton), none have been given access by the family to the full range of unpublished materials relating to his business activities.

My research has been extended to examine the designs of Morrison’s London warehouses. My research is unusual, combining as it does the analysis of business accounts and the design of warehouses, but also taking into account the political and cultural context of early 19th century London.

Official Website: http://www.bergpublishers.com/?tabid=670
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Caroline Dakers

Research Interests

19th and early 20th century British cultural history, particularly art, architecture, design, literature and social history.

Current Research

The main focus of my research and publications continue to be in the area of British cultural history, particularly 19th and early 20th century. I am completing a book commissioned by Yale University Press, The Morrisons of Fore Street: making money in 19th century Britain. Through examining the rise of a family of millionaire merchants I explore patronage of the arts, taste, the textile trade, British investment in the USA, banking and land management.

I continue to publish material and give papers relating to this research, for example a paper on the early 19th century architect J.B.Papworth (Bloomsbury project, Wellcome Trust and University College London) to be published in 2010 on-line; a paper on the interiors of Basildon House and 57 Harley Street (National Trust), to be published in 2010 in ‘Furniture’. Some of my research has again been used by Christies for relevant catalogues.

I continue to research the relation between artists and their studios (including the architecture of art colleges), and am giving papers at Compton Verney and for the Attingham Trust as well as exploring the possibility of creating a database of surviving studios and art college buildings in London and beyond. I have also been exploring the history of London’s cultural quarters, within the context of Central Saint Martins move to a new/old building in Kings Cross.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Berg
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2005
Funders: AHRB
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2009 12:54
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2010 12:33
Item ID: 1093
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1093

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