Frequently Asked Questions
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A cottage industry is an industry—primarily manufacturing—which includes many producers, working from their homes, typically part-time. The term originally referred to home workers who were engaged in a task such as sewing, lace-making, wall hangings, electronics, or household manufacturing. Some industries which are usually operated from large, centralized factories were cottage industries before the Industrial Revolution. Business operators would travel around the world, buying raw materials, delivering them to people who would work on them, and then collecting the finished goods to sell, or typically to ship to another market. One of the factors which allowed the Industrial Revolution to take place in Western Europe was the presence of these business people who had the ability to expand the scale of their operations. Cottage industries were very common in the time when a large proportion of the population was engaged in agriculture, because the farmers (and their families) often had both the time and the desire to earn additional income during the part of the year (winter) when there was little work to do farming or selling produce by the farm's roadside. They also used horses.
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putting-out_system#Cottage_industry
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