There are some who have claimed that capitalism in the twentieth century has undergone a sufficient transformation to have become an entirely different system, bearing little resemblance in its major features and its social tendencies to the capitalism of last century. The modern business corporation is something very different as a form of economic and financial organisation from the business partnership or one-man business of the nineteenth-century type. It is a commonplace that the epoch of so-called ‘mass production’ methods started in the United States about the time of the First World War, after which they spread somewhat tardily and unevenly to the leading industrial countries of Europe, including Britain. The decade following the First World War also witnessed the rise of numerous new products and new industries, largely the offspring of modern chemistry and of the invention of the internal combustion engine.