Work-Discipline and Proto-Factories: Orphanages and the Textile Industry in Early Modern Padua, 17th–18th Centuries

Friday, January 5, 2018: 8:50 AM
Columbia 3 (Washington Hilton)
Andrea Caracausi, University of Padua
This paper explores the role of charitable institutions as industrial producers and the functioning of labour markets within them. He shows that two orphanages in early modern Padua actually operated as “proto-factories” where large groups of workers were employed and assembled knitted goods and silk ribbons. There was a multiplicity of labour relations within these factories (from free- to un-free labour, from wage-labour to self-employment) and the paper studies the consequences of this organization of labour for the social life of families, for consumption markets, for trade networks and for innovation.