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Wagons at Work: A Transport Revolution from Below – the Case of Sweden, 1750-1850

Bergenfeldt, Fredrik LU ; Olsson, Mats LU and Svensson, Patrick LU (2013) In Agricultural History Review 61(1). p.63-82
Abstract
The introduction of turnpike trusts has been considered to be an integral part of the rapid decline in transport costs in England. Institutional change in the transport system or the lack thereof has been used to explain if and when a transport revolution occurred in different localities. However, improved roads are just one component of declining inland transport costs. In this paper, we specifically analyse how the transport means on roads (i.e., animal carts and wagons) developed in the absence of major institutional changes to the road system. We use Scania, a province located in southernmost Sweden, during the period 1750–1850 as a case study of the development of transport means during the transformation from a rural economy to an... (More)
The introduction of turnpike trusts has been considered to be an integral part of the rapid decline in transport costs in England. Institutional change in the transport system or the lack thereof has been used to explain if and when a transport revolution occurred in different localities. However, improved roads are just one component of declining inland transport costs. In this paper, we specifically analyse how the transport means on roads (i.e., animal carts and wagons) developed in the absence of major institutional changes to the road system. We use Scania, a province located in southernmost Sweden, during the period 1750–1850 as a case study of the development of transport means during the transformation from a rural economy to an emerging industrial one. Our main finding is the independent role of individuals in lowering their own transport costs, as demonstrated by the notably large increase in the value of wagons relative to other commodities and by the increasing share of wagons equipped with iron wheels instead of wooden wheels and with iron axles instead of wooden axles. This finding indicates that it was possible to lower transport costs in preindustrial Europe without an institutional change of the road system. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Agricultural History Review
volume
61
issue
1
pages
63 - 82
publisher
BAHS - British Agricultural History Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000322684700004
  • scopus:84881518159
ISSN
0002-1490
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5874096d-c1f4-4ae3-b5e9-2740355c0250 (old id 2701747)
alternative location
http://www.bahs.org.uk/AGHRvolumes.html
date added to LUP
2012-06-07 10:57:07
date last changed
2019-03-31 03:45:20
@article{5874096d-c1f4-4ae3-b5e9-2740355c0250,
  abstract     = {The introduction of turnpike trusts has been considered to be an integral part of the rapid decline in transport costs in England. Institutional change in the transport system or the lack thereof has been used to explain if and when a transport revolution occurred in different localities. However, improved roads are just one component of declining inland transport costs. In this paper, we specifically analyse how the transport means on roads (i.e., animal carts and wagons) developed in the absence of major institutional changes to the road system. We use Scania, a province located in southernmost Sweden, during the period 1750–1850 as a case study of the development of transport means during the transformation from a rural economy to an emerging industrial one. Our main finding is the independent role of individuals in lowering their own transport costs, as demonstrated by the notably large increase in the value of wagons relative to other commodities and by the increasing share of wagons equipped with iron wheels instead of wooden wheels and with iron axles instead of wooden axles. This finding indicates that it was possible to lower transport costs in preindustrial Europe without an institutional change of the road system.},
  author       = {Bergenfeldt, Fredrik and Olsson, Mats and Svensson, Patrick},
  issn         = {0002-1490},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {63--82},
  publisher    = {BAHS - British Agricultural History Society},
  series       = {Agricultural History Review},
  title        = {Wagons at Work: A Transport Revolution from Below – the Case of Sweden, 1750-1850},
  volume       = {61},
  year         = {2013},
}