Did Eli Whitney Begin The Trend Toward Sprawl?

Eli Whitney's invention of methods of mass production to build American muskets in 1800 create a way of thinking that leads us to sprawl.
August 13, 2003, 12pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Whitney's interchangeable system for muskets is the same that Henry Ford applied to the automobile assembly line, that William Levitt applied to suburban housing, that Ray Kroc applied to fast food restaurants, that Al Neuharth applied to newspapers (think of the Gannettoids who brought us USA Today), and so on down a landscape of sameness... But Whitney wasn't quite an interchangeable part that played its part particularly well. He hadn't "thought outside the box" to succeed. He'd destroyed the box and built his own from scratch. That's what's being lost now to boxes and bigness: The impulse to creatively destroy, and the admiration for the destroyers."

Thanks to Michael Dudley

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Published on Monday, August 11, 2003 in Daytona Beach News Journal
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