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Men of Innovation: The major industrialists of the late 19th century
Transcript of Men of Innovation: The major industrialists of the late 19th century
A short time after starting his own survey company, he began to buy railroad stocks, which at that time was one of the most lively struggles in American business.
Because of his menacing reputation, he was known as the "Corrupt Railroad King", and the "Robber Baron".
Eventhough he is said to be one of the most manipulative business leaders in American history, his architectual contribution to the railroad network and communications has effected how the railroad system operates today. John D. Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839, in Richford, NY. He was the second of six children, and raised on a farm by his father (David W. Rockfeller) and his mother, and was taught strict agricultural and financial knowledge at a young age. When he graduated from high school, he started his own company, "Clark and Rockefeller". The company earned an average of $450,000 a year (earning before expenses).
During the Civil War, the firm prospered with the takeover of multiple oil wells and refineries in the South; and with many refinieries been aquired, Rockefeller declared that refining (purifying) oil was more effective and profitable. The innovation led to a financial explosion within the company's revenue, up to $2,350,000 a year. By the first year of this new form of oil processing, Rockefeller was given the title "The wealthiest man in history".
Up until his date of death (May 23rd, 1937), The amount of philanthropical contributions was over 500 million. Even though he was considered a major corporate mogul, dedicated to the flourishing of his multi-million dollar corporation, he was a family man. He quotes, "The crudest of oil couldn't break the bond between my family and I" - John D. Rockefeller, 1918. JP Morgan was born on April 17th, 1837, in Hartford, Connecticut. Morgans father was a partner of "George Peabody & Co.", which at the time was a very profitting company. Therefore, Morgan was not born into poverty, which was rare. Morgan attended school in Boston, and then attended college in Germany. When he returned to the US in 1857, he began working for "Sherman, Duncan and Co.", which he became the American agent and attorney for 1860.
Years later, he became financiers for multiple finance firms. He became wealthy from all of his financing affiliations, and began buying war stocks during the Civil War (mainly railroads and oil refineries). Years later, Morgan helped fund and form the US Steel Company (along with Andrew Carnegie), the first billion dollar company. Morgan purchased several steel mills and other steel assets through Carnegie, approximately 1.2 billion dollars worth.
As wealthy as J.P. Morgan had seemed, compared to other major industrialists, he gave more to charity and organizations than he did to his family. John D. Rockefeller quoted "His power didn't lie in the millions he had, but lied in the billions he controlled". Cornelius Vanderbilt was born May 27th, 1794, in Staten Island, New York.
At the young age of 15, he became a boatsman, and began running equipment routes for wood and lumber companies. In 1812, he ran weapons and ammunition routes for six forts in and around New York, and profitted handsomely from it.
Years later, he became 1 of 32 people who produced the first steamboats. Vanderbilt said that the steamboat was the "New Dawn of Commercial Transportation", so he began to commercially distribute steamboats to different travel companies, and brought in excessive profits from the venture.
He later, helped build the New York Central Railroad, and helped merge the Hudson River Railroad.
Vanderbilt was not remembered as generous man, though he donated 1 million Central University of Tennessee. Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. When he was 3 , him and his family migrated to the US for labor changes. They settled in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, Carnegie became a "bobbin boy" at a cotton mill. He later became a telegraph operator and private secretary for the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad company. The job was profitting, which enabled him to make his first investment by purchasing a stock in a "sleeping-car" company. After 2 years, he was appointed superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in 1859.
When the Civil War started, Carnegie stalled his career to become a telegraph operator for the Union War Department. After the war, he became heavily affiliated with the iron industry. His firm recieved lucrative contracts from railroad companies. A short time after, he founded the Carnegie Steel Company. He then formed the US Steel Company, with Charles Schwab (who becomes the president of US Steel 10 years later).
His wealth started to decline during 1892's infamous Homestead Steel Strike. Though, Carnegie spent most of the strike in Europe, learning new methods of iron and steel forging, mostly influenced by Henry Bessemer. The strike caused a tremendous loss of workers, but was soon forgotten when Carnegie donated 20 million dollars ro the Phillipine Islands (which the Phillipines partially bought their freedom with).
Years later, Carnegies business partner, JP Morgan, offered to buy Carnegies steel empire for 500 million dollars. Carnegie sold the steel industry to Morgan and became the richest man in the world. Shortly after, Carnegie formed the US Steel Corporation, which would become one of the first multi-national corporations in history, and one of the first corporations to reach a capitalization rate of 1.4 billion dollars.
Sadly, He died shortly after the venture, in 1919. Many industrialists today call him "The Man of Steel", and say that he typified the American dream, and defined the true meaning of a business man.