The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987 Page: 348
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Plateau. In 1985, Texas raisers sheared 13.3 million pounds of mohair,
worth almost 46 million dollars.'
Until recently, however, the Angora goat industry in Texas has re-
ceived little attention in the historical literature concerning the Ameri-
can Southwest, and even less has been written about the agricultural
innovators who pioneered the industry during the last half of the nine-
teenth century. In fact, scholars have generally shown little interest in
the roles played by entrepreneurs in the diffusion of innovations. Ac-
cording to Gould P. Colman, for example, agricultural historians have
studied extensively the invention and production of new technologies,
but seldom the processes through which such technologies are dif-
fused. Geographers and rural sociologists have invested a great deal of
energy in the study of agricultural innovation and diffusion, but they
have generally concentrated more on the spatial patterns of diffusion
and on the nature of people who adopt innovations than on those who
develop and promote innovations.
Recent statements by Lawrence A. Brown and Everett M. Rogers,
however, point out the importance of the entrepreneurial aspect of in-
novation diffusion, recognizing that even quite beneficial innovations
are not sufficient causes in and of themselves for diffusion and adop-
tion to occur. Innovations must be made available to potential adopters
and their benefits convincingly demonstrated before a widespread
adoption will take place. Furthermore, new developments must often
be "re-invented" or improved by local innovators in order to accommo-
date specific locales, a consideration especially relevant to agricultural
It is well known, for example, that relatively well-to-do "gentlemen
farmers," such as Jethro Tull, Charles Townshend, and Robert Bake-
'1)D. R. Harris, "The Distribution and Ancestry of the Domestic Goat," Proceedings of the Lin-
nean Society of London, CLXXIII (Apr., 1962), 80-84, 88; Richard Lydekker (ed.), The Royal
Natural History (4 vols.; London, 1894), II, 239-242; S. C. Cronwright-Schreiner, The Angora
Goat (London, 1898), 48, 141-142; John L. Hayes, The Angora Goat: Its Origin, Culture, and
Products ... (New York, 1882), 26-27, 33; United States Department of Agriculture, Cotton and
Wool: Situation and Outlook Report (Washington, D.C., 1986), 18; Texas Crop and Livestock Re-
porting Service, -985 Texas Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Statistics (Austin, 1986), 25; Texas Almanac
and State Industrial Guide, 1986-1987 (Dallas, 1985), 626.
2The most comprehensive source on the Texas Angora goat industry has long been William L.
Black, A New Industry; or, Raising the Angora Goat and Mohair for Profit ... (Fort Worth, 19oo).
For a recent historical treatment, see Paul H. Carlson, Texas Woollybacks: The Range Sheep and
Goat Industry (College Station, Tex., 1982). For research on innovation diffusion, see Gould P.
Colman, "Innovation and Diffusion in Agriculture," Agricultural History, XLII (July, 1968),
173-187; Peter R. Gould, Spatial Diffusion, Association of American Geographers, Resource
Paper no. 4 (Washington, D.C., 1969).
3Lawrence A. Brown, Innovation Diffusion: A New Perspective (London, 1981); Everett M.
Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations (3rd ed.; New York, 1983).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987, periodical, 1986/1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/m1/414/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.