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John D Rockefeller Essay

2053 words - 9 pages

John D. Rockefeller is the icon of the American Businessman. He, along with several other individuals, established the Standard Oil in 1870 (Geisst, 2000). He was born July 8, 1839 in New York but moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1853 with his family. His success in life and as a businessman can be immediately traced back to the influence of his parents. His father, William Avery Rockefeller, was commonly termed in that period as a pitch man, or an individual who convinced people they could accomplish miraculous feats (Flynn, 1941). Rockefeller’s mother was an extremely religious person and imparted this religiosity to Rockefeller through discipline and strict beliefs of work, more work, save, ...view middle of the document...

Rockefeller’s business acumen proved very successful and by the beginning of the Civil War, Clark & Rockefeller was uniquely situated with high profits by the increased commodity movements as well as the higher prices for which they received a commission off of. This may be the first instance that Rockefeller’s critics have pointed out of his avarice and greed and the fact that he was essentially profiteering on the war (Latham, 1949). Yet, while some aspect of this might true, Rockefeller was already in that line of business and certainly was only capitalizing on business that was presented to him. While the Civil War was playing out across the country, Rockefeller began to search for an alternative business or industry possibilities.
Rockefeller’s next enterprise business was petroleum. Oil had been known throughout and even in the US it had been found in Pennsylvania by Edwin Laurentine Drake in 1859. Drake’s discovery of oil was not necessary revolutionary, but its location in Pennsylvania made it a surprise for that region. What was revolutionary was that fact that Drake had discovered the ability to drill for oil as one would for water. This discovery opened up all sorts of possibilities for the oil industry. The petroleum industry at the time was confined to some industrious individuals who would package it in small amounts as a medicine or a curative for all types of illnesses. While the petroleum industry was still in its infancy stage, there were several applications that were in wide use by Rockefeller’s time such as coal oil lamps which were fueled by distilled petroleum products.
Once the Civil War ended he was faced with the certain decline of his commission merchant business and decided to enter the oil refining business in 1862 and formed a company called Andrews, Clark & Company the following year (Geisst, 2000). Rockefeller knew that the presence of reliable transportation was central to the industry and the A&GW railroad company had opened up lines into Pennsylvania’s oil regions. Since the oil in the region was of a higher quality than in other regions, Rockefeller knew it was ideal for capitalizing on this market. From the very beginning Rockefeller created his own processes in his own facilities to develop his own refining and distribution networks. He manufactured his own barrels for transportation including the purchase of timber tracts for the barrels raw material. He manufactured and built his own piping systems, purchased his own wagons for transportation and generally tried to integrate the entire distillation operation into his own operation (Josephson, 1949). Rockefeller was so successful that in 1865 he bought out his partners at the relatively young age of 24. The following year Rockefeller introduced his brother, William Rockefeller, into the business and together they founded a new refinery in Cleveland called: Standard Works. Additionally, with the introduction of his brother, Rockefeller began the...

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