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Industrial CowboysMiller & Lux and the Transformation of the Far West, 1850-1920$
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David Igler

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520226586

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520226586.001.0001

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Introduction: Industrial Cowboys in the Far West

Introduction: Industrial Cowboys in the Far West

(p.1) Introduction: Industrial Cowboys in the Far West
Industrial Cowboys

David Igler

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the influence of Miller and Lux within the region's industrial transformation, explaining that the Far West which emerged after the 1849 gold rush featured an instant market economy, dynamic urban cores, and large corporate enterprises. It notes that Miller and Lux entered the twentieth century as one of the nation's largest industrial enterprises. The chapter clarifies that “Industrial cowboys” juxtaposes the nineteenth century's most powerful transformation with the individualistic ethos of the mythic creation, the American cowboy. It explains that Miller and Lux operated in ways similar to the nation's other emerging industrial firms—by reducing risks, segmenting labor, and creating vertically integrated production units. The chapter emphasizes that control over the natural resources enabled capitalized interests to transform the landscape and reap huge profits.

Keywords:   Miller and Lux, industrial transformation, Far West, industrial cowboys, nineteenth century, natural resources, profits

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