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Steam-Powered KnowledgeWilliam Chambers and the Business of Publishing, 1820-1860$
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Aileen Fyfe

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226276519

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226276540.001.0001

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Centralizing Business in Edinburgh

Centralizing Business in Edinburgh

Chapter:
(p.111) 9 Centralizing Business in Edinburgh
Source:
Steam-Powered Knowledge
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226276540.003.0010

This chapter addresses the printing business in Edinburgh. The improved ease of personal travel helped publishers to manage their regional agents and their network of retail booksellers. W. & R. Chambers began the process of reducing their dependence on potentially unreliable and troublesome agents during the 1840s. The slow progress of construction of the through line to London meant that railways took longer to affect the Chambers' English business. There was a new communications technology available—electric telegraph—that could send information faster than an express train, but its formidable speed came at a price, both literally and metaphorically. Having been failed by both railways and telegraph, David vented his frustration in a long-hand letter to his brother Robert.

Keywords:   printing business, Edinburgh, Chambers, London, English business, electric telegraph

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