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Toxic TownIBM, Pollution, and Industrial Risks$
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Peter C. Little

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814760697

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814760697.001.0001

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From Shoes to Computers to Vapor Mitigation Systems

From Shoes to Computers to Vapor Mitigation Systems

(p.35) 3 From Shoes to Computers to Vapor Mitigation Systems
Toxic Town

Peter C. Little

NYU Press

This chapter traces Endicott's industrial history by examining the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company (EJ)—the company that made Endicott into the “Magic City” as it transformed the village into a vibrant and profitable commercial and manufacturing center. Both EJ and IBM played critical roles in the area's industrial facelift. By the 1920s, an estimated 20,000 people worked in EJ's factories, with the labor population booming during EJ's golden years in the mid-1940s. This growth spurt was a direct outcome of World War II, since EJ produced an abundance of military footwear during the war years. After the midpoint of the twentieth century, EJ closed due to the rise of the service and information economy. The chapter then describes the emergence of IBM in Endicott, highlighting how the company created some of the earliest computing technologies that set off the “third industrial revolution” and the so-called Information Age.

Keywords:   Endicott, Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company, manufacturing center, IBM, 1940s, military footwear, information economy, computing technologies, Information Age

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