In this earliest stage of industrial capitalism, the role of the
family remained central in the productive processes of society. While
capitalism was preparing the destruction of that role, it had not yet penetrated
into the daily life of the family and the community; so much was this the
case that one student of United States industrial history described this
as the “family stage, in which household manufacturing was supreme.
Practically all of the family’s needs were supplied by its members.
The producer and consumer were virtually identical. The family was
the economic unit, and the whole system of production was based upon it.
Before 1810 this stage was common throughout many sections of the country;
after this date it became more or less localized” (188-9).