The Age of Big Business: A Chronicle of the Captains of Industry

The Age of Big Business: A Chronicle of the Captains of Industry

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The Age of Big Business: A Chronicle of the Captains of Industry

The Age of Big Business: A Chronicle of the Captains of Industry

Read FREE!

Excerpt

When Cornelius Vanderbilt died in 1877, America's first great industrial combination had become an established fact. In that year the Standard Oil Company of Ohio controlled at least ninety per cent of the business of refining and marketing petroleum. A new portent had appeared in our economic life, a phenomenon that was destined to affect not only the social and business existence of the every-day American but even his political and legal institutions.

It seems natural enough at the present time to refer to petroleum as an indispensable commodity. At the beginning of the Civil War, however, any such description would have been absurd. Though petroleum was not unknown, millions of American households were still burning candles, whale oil, and other illuminants. Not until 1859 did our ancestors realize that, concealed in the rocks of . . .

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