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While some historians have argued that a spatial business-historical approach allows to study the relationship between businesses and the transforming cities in which they operated, the time-consuming nature of geolocating historical addresses long withheld scholars from analysing the spatial dispersion of large groups of urban actors, including artisans. Using a database of Brussels plumbers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, compiled from trade almanacs and fiscal registers, this paper shows how geolocation software makes an essential methodological contribution to urban history. It uncovers plumbers’ immense expansion in the city, following the emergence of modern sanitary comfort. The case study of a plumber’s spatial network shows that their dispersion was caused by behavioural factors rather than that they catered to local needs in their own neighbourhood.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Dec 2022|
1/10/22 → 30/09/25
SRP58: SRP-Onderzoekszwaartepunt: Inequality, Migration and Social Relations in Urban Brabant and Flanders, c. 1350-1914
1/03/19 → 29/02/24