Industrial growth, family businesses
After World War II, Monsummano and its territory experienced an overall change-whose harbingers had already been present at the beginning of the century-which would lead, over forty years’ time, to a doubling of the population, a progressive industrialization and the resulting abandonment of agriculture, a messy depopulation of the countryside, and finally the substantial transformation of the environmental and socio-economic landscape appearance. Between 1951 and 1961, the municipalities of Monsummano, Pieve a Nievole, Massa e Cozzile, Pescia, Uzzano, and Chiesina Uzzanese had a high degree of industrialization and an increase in both units and employees. In the 1950s and 1960s, Monsummano was fourth among the great centers of Italian shoemakers, with an estimated annual production of 6-7 million pairs of shoes, equal to 65-70% of the province of Pistoia’s production and to more than 3% of the national average. The largest canning manufacturer (Fratelli Polli), which used local agricultural resources, also continued to be fully active in the town. Monsummano was perhaps the most important center of Italy for the traditional reed work, along with some factories that manufactured sorghum brooms and brushes.