THE STEEL TRUST MERGER
IN this story of fabulous wealth and phenomenal prosperity we have almost lost sight of the disastrous panic of 1893, from which most of the large industrial enterprises of the United States emerged in a dilapidated condition. In the long depression which followed, manufacturers everywhere were forced into bankruptcy. Capital was scarce, the demand for goods was small, and thousands of plants remained in total or partial idleness for several years. This was particularly true of the steel and iron industry. Most of the steel plants, always excepting the Carnegie Works, were dormant or moribund. Dividends were discontinued; foreclosures were the order of the day; investors had lost their capital.
The tariff changes of 1894 had been a hard blow to many industries which had grown up and fattened in a quiet way during the long period of high