Sugar industry and metallurgical activity in Tucumán (1870-1940)


  • Daniel Moyano Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales (CONICET-UNT)



Regional History, Technology, Adaptation, Firm Behavior


This work examines the development of the metallurgical sector associated with modern sugar industry in Tucumán province (main production centre in Argentina). We analyze the dynamics between the sugar factories, the network of foundries and the mechanization of pieces and machinery. As sugar mechanized, forges and mills emerged to supply the increasingly mechanized sugar industrial sector. We hypothesize that metal casting and mechanical parts were the activities that incorporated the highest level of available technology. These activities were closely connected to the sugar industry because they supplied its inputs and machinery. We argue that foreign companies initially introduced new and innovative technology and helped advance the process of imitation and local innovation to supply foreign-made machinery, in particular during economic downturns.