The purpose of this paper is to analyze the development of the mass production system at Morris Engines Co. and the former Coventry works of Hotchkiss et Cie. Hotchkiss et Cie began to produce 50 engine units per week at their Coventry works in 1918. Machine shops were originally general engineering shops, where similar types of machine tools were grouped together. In 1922, Hotchkiss converted these into a hybrid of “machine-tool-based shop” and “components-based shop” for the production of 100 units per week. Morris Engines took over the works from Hotchkiss in 1923, and in 1924 an output of 1, 200 engines per week was achieved. The engineer Woollard implemented a method of continuous flow production at this factory. It was in the context of a flow principle that experiments were made in the development of transfer machines to produce a cylinder block and other components. Power-driven conveyor systems were, however, not used in the assembly lines. Then the factory needed stimulus by piecework to speed up the production pace or to increase the output. Woollard did not call this system “mass production” but called it “continuous production.” These processes were not aimed at attacking enormous quantities but were endeavor to secure continuous flow and were suitable for the scale of the British market. The whole process of these developments were also the outcome of an inherent need to secure continuous flow rather than an adaptation of Fordism as Tolliday asserted.
The purpose of this paper is first to analyze the change in the system that regulated the production and sale of medicine in the latter half of the 19th century and second to make clear how the management of the home distribution system of patent medicines in Toyama changed as its result. This paper examines the case of the Okamoto family, the influential merchant family that owned large tracts of commercial land, and the peddling of patent medicines in Takaoka in the early Meiji era. As a result of the examination, the following point became clear. The merchant in Takaoka financed owners of commercial land to peddle patent medicines. These peddlers lived in villages around Takaoka, and the management of their peddling business changed with the financing from the merchant. By the 1860s, the peddlers in Takaoka were classified into five ranks by income, because several feudal loads had for years forbidden the peddlers from entering their domains. And as a result, this started the division in the management of the business into the sponsor, the chemist's shop, and the peddler in Takaoka. The home distribution system of patent medicines in Takaoka was thus able to adapt to the medical policy of the Meiji government, which regulated both the production and the distribution of patent medicines.
In 1949, the GHQ Occupation authorities allowed Japanese automobile companies to begin producing cars. But the level of price and performance of domestic cars was inferior to that of industrially advanced nations. Consequently, common opinion in the auto-related business circles was that the Japanese automotive industry was inferior. The regulation of car imports was relaxed in 1952, and many foreign-made cars were imported. Car imports became the source of conflict for the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and automobile companies. The Ministry of Transport did not oppose automobile manufacture in Japan but objected to the protective policy that regulated car imports. The primary reason for importing cars was to promote smooth and efficient transportation. Taxi companies were the main users of cars at the time, and they opposed the protective policy as the price and performance of cars influenced their profit and reputation. They appealed to the National Diet in support of car imports, and their views were publicized through magazines and other means. Opposition to the protective policy was resolved in 1954. The foreign currency shortage in 1953 and 1954 prompted public opinion to favor restriction of car imports. In addition, the price of domestic cars dropped and performance improved. Under these circumstances, the Ministry of Transport changed its policy by proposing the import of normal-size cars not widely manufactured in Japan, and thus the debate over car imports was concluded.