The Masters of Capital: A Chronicle of Wall Street

By John Moody | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
STANDARD OIL AND WALL STREET

IN 1859, ten years after the discovery of gold in California, another epoch-making discovery was made, this time in Pennsylvania. An enterprising prospector in Venango County drilled a well and produced a flow of petroleum, which was already known to have great commercial value. It was almost like finding liquid gold, for the stuff brought twenty dollars a barrel and it flowed at the rate of twenty-five barrels a day. In a few months' time the narrow valley in northwestern Pennsylvania where the discovery was made swarmed with madmen tearing open the ground in the frenzy of competition that characterizes all new mining districts. So far as was known, the petroleum might soon dry up and every one was hurrying to "strike oil" before it should be gone.

About this time a young commission merchant in Cleveland, Ohio, named John D. Rockefeller,

-52-

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The Masters of Capital: A Chronicle of Wall Street
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Chapter I - The Rise of the House of Morgan 1
  • Chapter II - Morgan and the Railroads 19
  • Chapter III - The Ironmasters 35
  • Chapter IV - Standard Oil and Wall Street 52
  • Chapter V - The Steel Trust Merger 70
  • Chapter VI - Harriman and Hill 89
  • Chapter VII - The Apex of "High Finance" 109
  • Chapter VIII - The Panic of 1907 and After 134
  • Chapter IX - Wall Street and the World War 155
  • Appendix 181
  • Bibliographical Note 221
  • Index 225
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