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Keywords:

  • productivity;
  • business history;
  • theory of swift, even flow;
  • automation;
  • economies of scale

This study names a pantheon of entrepreneurs and managers who have introduced a range of far-reaching productivity innovations throughout modern history. The thread tying together all of the innovations, in whatever sector of the economy one examines, is the theory of swift, even flow. The study argues why swift, even flow explains the power and long-lasting nature of these innovations and why other factors thought by some to affect productivity fall short.