New book traces evolution of US scrap industry

Oct 03, 2005 | 02:07 PM | Paul Schaffer

The evolution of the U.S. scrap industry from the mid-1800s is examined in Cash for Your Trash, a book by Carl Zimring, an assistant professor of history at Oberlin College.

Zimring notes that in the early stages of U.S. industrialization, immigrants could start a business with minimal capital in a niche that didn't attract corporate competition. According to a computer analysis Zimring did of 1920 Census records, 68 percent of people employed in the "junk" business spoke Yiddish and 11 percent were born in Italy.....

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