economics

Josiah Wedgwood and his Pottery Company

Josiah Wedgwood and his Pottery Company

On July 12, 1730, English potter and founder of the eponymous company Josiah Wedgwood was born. Wedgwood is credited with the industrialisation of the manufacture of pottery. Every new invention that Wedgwood produced – green glaze, creamware, black basalt and jasper – was quickly copied. Having once achieved perfection in production, he achieved perfection in sales and distribution. The Art of Making Porcelain We had already featured the (re-)discovery of the art…
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Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Railroad and Steamship Empire

Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Railroad and Steamship Empire

On May 27, 1794, American business magnate and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt was born. Vanderbilt’s wealth was build on railroads and shipping. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. “Let them do what I have done.” – Cornelius Vanderbuilt Cornelius Vanderbilt – Starting a Ferry Business Cornelius Vanderbilt was born as the fourth child and second son of Cornelius and Phebe Vanderbilt (née Hand). Vanderbilt left…
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Clarence Mackay connected the World

Clarence Mackay connected the World

On April 17, 1874, American financier Clarence Hungerford Mackay was born. Mackay was chairman of the board of the Postal Telegraph and Cable Corporation and president of the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company. He supervised the completion of the first transpacific cable between the United States and the Far East in 1904. He laid a cable between New York and Cuba in 1907 and later established cable communication with southern Europe via the…
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Frederick W. Taylor – the first Management Consultant

Frederick W. Taylor – the first Management Consultant

On March 20, 1856, American mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor was born. Taylor is known as the father of scientific management, who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He was one of the first management consultants. Taylor summed up his efficiency techniques in his 1911 book The Principles of Scientific Management. His pioneering work in applying engineering principles to the work done on the factory floor was instrumental in the creation and development…
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How Johann Beckmann invented the Science of Technology

How Johann Beckmann invented the Science of Technology

On June 4, 1739, German chemist and economist Johann Beckmann was born. He established the science of agriculture and coined the word technology, to mean the science of trades. Technology today has become ubiquituous. You might think that this term was part of our vocabulary ever since antiquity. Not at all. It was Johann Beckmann, who was the first to teach technology and write about it as an academic subject. Johann Beckmann and…
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Ernst Engel and Engel’s Law of Microeconomics

Ernst Engel and Engel’s Law of Microeconomics

On March 26, 1821, German statistician Ernst Engel was born. Engel was head of the Prussian Statistical Bureau (1860-82) and is best known for the “Engel curve,” or Engel‘s law, which states that the proportion of expenditure on food will fall as income rises, i.e. food is a necessary good. He who attempts to draw any conclusion whatever as to the nation’s wealth or poverty from the mere fact of a favorable…
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Robert Malthus and the Principle of Population

Robert Malthus and the Principle of Population

On February 13, 1766, English cleric and scholar Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus was born. His An Essay on the Principle of Population observed that sooner or later population will be checked by famine and disease, leading to what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe. He thought that the dangers of population growth precluded progress towards a utopian society. Malthus placed the longer-term stability of the economy above short-term expediency. His views became…
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Oskar Morgenstern and the Game Theory

Oskar Morgenstern and the Game Theory

On January 24, 1902, German-American economist and mathematician Carl Friedrich Alfred Oskar Morgenstern was born. Morgenstern popularized “game theory” which mathematically analyzes behaviour of man or animals in terms of strategies to maximize gains and minimize losses. He coauthored Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944), with John von Neumann, which extended Neumann‘s 1928 theory of games of strategy to competitive business situations.[4] “As far as the use of mathematics in economics…
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When Money Buys Little – the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic

When Money Buys Little – the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic

Mid November 1923, the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic reached its peak. Due to Germany’s obligation to pay large reparations after World War I, a hyperinflation was induced reaching its peak in November 1923, when the American dollar was worth 4,210,500,000,000 German marks. “The bloody uproar of the war is over: let’s enjoy the carnival of the inflation. It’s loads of fun and paper, printed paper, flimsy stuff – do they still call…
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Antoine Cournot and the Mathematical Theory of Economics

Antoine Cournot and the Mathematical Theory of Economics

On August 28, 1801, French philosopher and mathematician Antoine-Augustin Cournot was born. He is considered being the first economist who applied mathematics to the treatment of economic questions. In 1838, he published Recherches sur les principes mathématiques de la théorie des richesses (Researches into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth) which was a treatment of mathematical economics. “So far we have studies how, for each commodity by itself, the law…
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