The history of cut nail manufacturing shows how the interaction of technology and markets shaped the structure, organizational patterns, management systems, and individual production units of a single industry--a classic example of the American enterprise system at work. Reliance on wood construction created an expanding market for cut nails and exerted considerable pressure for high volume and low prices. Industry responded to this challenge, introducing and perfecting machine-made nails. As this competitive advantage began to decline the industry was again transformed by management changes and the implementation of cost accounting. Loveday utilizes the records of four dominant companies in the industry and journalistic accounts to document the complex patterns of growth and decline, innovation and obsolescence in the cut nail industry.