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Manufacturing Belt

  • By: Gordon M. Winder
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The North American Manufacturing Belt emerged between 1830 and 1880, and well into the 1970s, industry located in this zone dominated manufacturing employment in the continent. This made the belt one of four broad industrial regions that together dominated world industrial production through most of the 20th century. The belt was identified in academic literature in the 1930s and has been the subject of considerable research, mainly focused on its dynamics, geography, and subsequent decline and restructuring in the late 20th century.

Dynamics and Geography

When industrialization first gripped Canada and the United States, manufacturing took the form of many small establishments located in the Atlantic coast states and along the St. Lawrence River. These early enterprises were closely entwined with rural activities and added factory ...

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