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Technology and the Search for Progress in Modern Mexico$
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Edward Beatty

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520284890

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520284890.001.0001

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Beer and Glass Bottles

Beer and Glass Bottles

(p.107) Five Beer and Glass Bottles
Technology and the Search for Progress in Modern Mexico

Edward Beatty

University of California Press

Glass bottle manufacturing provides our second detailed case study. The automated mass production of glass bottles represents a range of large-scale, complex factory-based production systems that were brought to Mexico between 1890 and 1910. In response to a rising domestic demand for beer, Mexican investors acquired the patent rights to the new Owens automatic glass bottle blowing machine shortly after its development in the United States. However, unexpected obstacles to financing, installing, and operating this novel technological system delayed commercialization for over a decade and required adaptations to both the technology itself and the Mexican context for critical production inputs. Sustained effort by a group of Mexican investors and managers yielded substantial local learning to both use and modify the technology, a major exception to the general trend of low assimilation. These abilities would, in the decades after the revolution, lay the foundations for one of the country’s most innovative and successful firms, the Vidriera Monterrey.

Keywords:   beer, breweries, glass bottles, artisanal production, Michael Owens, Juan Brittingham, Isaac Garza, Vidriera Monterrey

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