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"Statistical Information Relating to Certain Branches of Industry in Massachusetts For the Year Ending June 1, 1855"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was early compared to other states in collecting statistical data to better understand industry and agriculture in Massachusetts. The information was collected from the three Connecticut River counties, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden. Outside of Springfield, the region's first major manufacturing center, and the cities nearby such as Holyoke and Chicopee (not included here), the small rural towns of the region contained surprising numbers of local industries that employed significant numbers of people. This continued through the 19th century and early 20th. But the Great Depression of 1929-1940 struck a fatal blow. Rural industry, which had begun to fade as manufacturing concentrated in larger urban areas, was entirely killed by the economic disaster that ensued. This has generally remained true to this day.
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