N. S. B. Gras
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N. S. B. Gras
N. S. B. Gras
Norman Scott Brien Gras

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DiedOctober 9, 1956(1956-10-09) (aged 71-72)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisThe Evolution of the English Corn Market, 1100-1700 (1912)
Doctoral advisorEdwin F. Gay
Academic work
Sub-disciplineBusiness history
Notable ideasBusiness history

Norman Scott Brien Gras (1884-1956), known as N. S. B. Gras, was a Canadian professor at the Harvard Business School who invented the academic discipline of business history.

Early life

Gras was born in 1884 in Toronto, Ontario.[1] He graduated from the University of Western Ontario.[1] He went on to receive a PhD in economics from Harvard University.[1]


Gras taught economics at the University of Minnesota.[2]

Gras was appointed as Professor of Business History by Dean Wallace Brett Donham in 1927.[2][3] He invented this new academic discipline, which only existed as his job title at the time.[2] From the outset, Gras made sure to draw a distinction between economic history and business history.[3] For Gras, economic history failed to focus on the role of the businessman as well as the role of business administration.[3] Instead, the main goal of business history was to highlight those two components in the history of corporations and business developments.[3]

Gras served as the president of the Business History Foundation.[4] He was the founder and editor of the Journal of Economic and Business History.[4] He was also the editor of the Harvard Studies of Business History.[4]


Gras died in 1956.[1]


  • Gras, N. S. B. (1918). The Early English Customs System: A Documentary Study of the Institutional and Economic History of the Customs from the Thirteenth to the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. OCLC 3077330.
  • Gras, N. S. B. (1922). An Introduction to Economic History. New York: Harper & Bros. OCLC 4625645.
  • Gras, N. S. B. (1925). A History of Agriculture in Europe and America. New York: F.S. Crofts & Co. OCLC 2138695.
  • Gras, N. S. B. (1930). Industrial Evolution. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. OCLC 1187223.
  • Gras, N. S. B.; Pforzheimer, Carl H. (1937). The Massachusetts First National Bank of Boston, 1784-1934. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. OCLC 2490681.
  • Gras, N. S. B.; Larson, Henrietta M. (1939). Casebook in American History. New York: F.S. Crofts & Co. OCLC 4139275.
  • Gras, N. S. B. (1939). Business and Capitalism: An Introduction to Business History. New York: F.S. Crofts & Co. OCLC 2167414.


  1. ^ a b c d "Gras, N. S. B." Encyclopedia.com. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 1968. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Norman Scott Brien Gras, 1884-1956". The Business History Review. 30 (4): 357-360. December 1956. doi:10.2307/3111713. JSTOR 3111713.
  3. ^ a b c d Wohl, R. Richard (June 1954). "The Significance of Business History". The Business History Review. 28 (2): 128-140. doi:10.2307/3111488. JSTOR 3111488.
  4. ^ a b c Postan, M. M. (1957). "N. S. B. Gras--A Memoir". The Economic History Review. 9 (3): 485. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1957.tb00679.x. JSTOR 2591139.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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