Did U Know? – The Men Who Built America

TheMenWhoBuiltAmerica

Facts from Wikipedia

The Men Who Built America (also known as The Innovators: The Men Who Built America in some international markets) is a six-hour, four part miniseries docudrama which was originally broadcast on the History Channel in the Fall of 2012, and on the History Channel UK in Spring of 2013. The series focuses on the lives of Cornelius VanderbiltJohn D. RockefellerAndrew CarnegieJ. P. Morgan and Henry Ford and how their industrial innovations and business empires revolutionized modern society. The series is directed by Patrick Reams and Ruán Magan and is narrated by Campbell Scott. It averaged 2.6 million total viewers (1.2 million adults 25–54 and 1 million adults 18–49) across 4 nights.

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Cornelius Vanderbilt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cornelius Vanderbilt (May 27, 1794 – January 4, 1877), also known informally as “Commodore Vanderbilt”, was an American business magnate and philanthropist who built his wealth in railroads and shipping.[2][3] Born poor and having only a mediocre education, Vanderbilt used perseverance, intelligence and luck to work into leadership positions in the inland water trade, and invest in the rapidly growing railroad industry. He is known for owning the New York Central Railroad.

As one of the richest Americans in history and wealthiest figures overall, Vanderbilt was the patriarch of a wealthy, influential family. He provided the initial gift to found Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. According to historian H. Roger Grant:

Contemporaries, too, often hated or feared Vanderbilt or at least considered him an unmannered brute. While Vanderbilt could be a rascal, combative and cunning, he was much more a builder than a wrecker. … being honorable, shrewd, and hard-working.[4]

John D. Rockefeller

John Davison Rockefeller Sr. (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American oil industry business magnate and philanthropist. Widely considered the wealthiest American of all time[4][5] and the richest person in modern history,[6][7] Rockefeller was born into a large family in upstate New York and was shaped by his con man father and religious mother. His family moved several times before eventually settling in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rockefeller became an assistant bookkeeper at the age of 16, and went into a business partnership with Maurice B. Clark and his brothers at 20. After buying them out, he and his brother William founded Rockefeller & Andrews with Samuel Andrews. Instead of drilling for oil, he concentrated on refining. In 1867, Henry Flagler entered the partnership. The Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler company grew by incorporating local refineries. Rockefeller formally founded the Standard Oil Company, Inc. in 1870 as an Ohio partnership with his brother, Henry FlaglerJabez A. BostwickSamuel Andrews and a silent partnerStephen V. Harkness. He ran it until 1897.

As kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, Rockefeller’s wealth soared and he became the richest person in the country, controlling 90% of all oil in the United States at his peak.[c] Oil was used throughout the country as a light source until the introduction of electricity and as a fuel after the invention of the automobile. Furthermore, Rockefeller gained enormous influence over the railroad industry, which transported his oil around the country. Standard Oil was the first great business trust in the United States. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry, and along with other key contemporary industrialists such as steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, defined the structure of modern philanthropy.[8]

Andrew Carnegie

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andrew Carnegie (/kɑːrˈnɡi/kar-NAY-gee, but commonly /ˈkɑːrnəɡi/KAR-nə-ghee or /kɑːrˈnɛɡi/kar-NEG-ee;[3] November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-Americanindustrialist.

Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and is often identified as one of the richest people(and richest Americans) ever.[4] He became a leading philanthropist in the United States, and in the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away about $350 million[5][note 1] to charities, foundations, and universities—almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming “The Gospel of Wealth” called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy.

Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher, and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges, and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman, raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J.P. Morgan in 1901 for $480 million.[5] It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed John D. Rockefeller as the richest American for the next couple of years.[6]

Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education, and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall and the Peace Palace and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New YorkCarnegie Endowment for International PeaceCarnegie Institution for ScienceCarnegie Trust for the Universities of ScotlandCarnegie Hero FundCarnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others.

J. P. Morgan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Pierpont Morgan Sr. (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913) was an Americanfinancier and banker who dominated corporate financeand industrial consolidation in late 19th and early 20th Century United States.

In 1892, Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. He was also instrumental in the creation of the United States Steel CorporationInternational Harvester and AT&T. At the height of Morgan’s career during the early 1900s, he and his partners had financial investments in many large corporations and had significant influence over the nation’s high finance and United States Congress members. He directed the banking coalition that stopped the Panic of 1907. He was the leading financier of the Progressive Era, and his dedication to efficiency and modernization helped transform American business. Morgan has been described as America’s greatest banker.[1]

Morgan died in Rome, Italy, in his sleep in 1913 at the age of 75, leaving his fortune and business to his son, John Pierpont Morgan Jr.His fortune was estimated at “only” US$80 million, prompting John D. Rockefeller to say: “and to think, he wasn’t even a rich man”.

Henry Ford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the American industrialist. For other uses, see Henry Ford (disambiguation).

Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American captain of industry and a business magnate, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.

Although Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line,[1] he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the 20th Century. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with “Fordism“: mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.

Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I, and for promoting antisemitism through his newspaper The Dearborn Independent and the book The International Jew.

 

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