The growth and reorganization of refining capacity
To most oilmen accustomed to the competitive conditions of the 1860's, it appeared that Rockefeller's success in acquiring refining capacity and solidifying his control over transport facilities between 1872 and 1878 had made it virtually impossible for independent refiners to survive. The Tidewater innovation involving long-distance crude lines was still in the planning stage, and although Bradford had been discovered, its potential as a possible basis for independent operations had yet to be revealed.
Events of the next two years did little to improve the prospects for the emergence of refiners operating outside the Standard orbit. For a time it appeared that the development of Bradford as one of the truly prolific oil fields in the history of the industry might weaken Standard's control over storage and gathering line facilities. But once the circumstances fostering