Back in the early 19th century, most Parisians got their water from private wells and public drinking fountains. A century later or so, almost all of the capital’s inhabitants had been connected to the city’s water network and enjoyed a standard service. This shift was due, to a significant extent at least, to the action of the municipal water Department, which gradually transformed itself into a large organization, capable of deploying a whole range of frequently innovative managerial practices. In this short article, thanks to a series of examples, we aim at showing the surprisingly modern character of these practices, frequently overlooked by scholars specialized in business history.
The full text in French is available here.