Abstract

The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well in colonial times (Perkins, 1989), but in the early years of the Republic the embers of entrepreneurship were fanned into a brilliant flame that has continued to transform the United States to this very day. Many of the elements of entrepreneurship that have been identified and studied by modern researchers can be seen in practice in the early 19th century U.S. clock industry (Murphy, 1961). Early participants in this industry proved to be highly entrepreneurial as they moved clock making from a cottage industry to state-of-the-art mass production. Along the way these entrepreneurs developed innovative financing, marketing, and production techniques. One of the most interesting innovations was the development of the entrepreneurial peddler system, which was used for many years as the primary channel for the sale and distribution of clocks (Keir, 1913).

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