Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Creative Destruction in NYC

Follow the link to see a bunch of older photos of NYC and a few of the surrounding boroughs. Some of the pictures go back as far as the 1880s. In my view, getting a glimpse of pre-WWI shots of the economic capital of the world is worth taking a peak in and of itself. The architectural achievements of the people, in a time that pre-dated the automobile, where horsedrawn carriages were the primary mode of transportion, and seemingly every man wore some sort of bowler hat, are all the more impressive and spectacular. The degree of building development that existed back then is truly a marvel once one considers the, from today's perspective, primitive state of techonological development that existed in pre-WWI society.

Also, as I made my way through the collection it was interesting to read some of the advertisements. Many companies were featured that remain in existence to this day, though many in a far less vibrant position than they were surely in during the time of the photographs. Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Ford, and Macy's are all still present in the current business scene. But there are numerous other companies, and even select services, that I had no idea ever existed and have since disappeared from the production scene altogether. These photos are a great indicator of Joseph Schumpeter's notion of Creative Destruction, and its influence on the progressive removal and replacement of old firms, obsolete processes of production, out-dated cultural norms, and upsetting of old social hierarchies, in favor of new enterprises, more efficient and effective utilization of resources, and newly formed and realigned social classes.

Again, check it out.

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