In exchange for large, regular shipments, Rockefeller and his allies secured transport rates far lower than those of their bewildered competitors. So this very young man controls what is not only a national but an international monopoly in a commodity that is about to become the most important strategic commodity in the world economy. But it wasn’t long until a handful of similarly ambitious (and well-connected) families began to emulate the Standard Oil success story in other parts of the globe.Ida Tarbell, the daughter of an oil man, later remembered how men like her father struggled to make sense of events: “An uneasy rumor began running up and down the Oil Regions,” she wrote. By the 1880s, the American oil industry was the Standard Oil Company. One such competitor emerged from the Caucasus in the 1870s, where Imperial Russia had opened up the vast Caspian Sea oil deposits to private development.Not in Pennsylvania with the first commercial drilling operation and the first oil boom, but in the rural backwoods of early 19 century New York State.
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He was neither a doctor nor a cancer specialist; his real name was not even Livingston.
More to the point, the “Rock Oil” tonic he pawned was a useless mixture of laxative and petroleum and had no effect whatsoever on the cancer of the poor townsfolk he conned into buying it.
He adopted the name “Livingston” after he was indicted for raping a girl in Cayuga in 1849.
When he wasn’t running away from them or disappearing for years at a time, he would teach his children the tricks of his treacherous trade.
By August 27th they’ve drilled down sixty-nine and a half feet, Drake has used the last of his funds, and Bissell and his partners have decided to close up the operation. Narrator: Then on Sunday, August 28th, 1859, oil bubbled up the drive pipe. And he read about the oil business just beginning and got interested, and came to realize it was a very volatile business at the time.
Uncle Billy and his son Sam bailed out several buckets of oil. In 1863, seeing the oil boom and sensing the profits to be made in the fledgling business, Rockefeller formed a partnership with fellow businessman Maurice B.
Rockefeller knew that the refiner with the lowest transportation cost could bring rivals to their knees. On every lip there was but one word and that was ‘conspiracy.'” Ron Chernow, Biographer: By 1879, when Rockefeller is 40, he controls 90 percent of the oil refining in the world.
He entered into a secret alliance with the railroads called the South Improvement Company. all members of the South Improvement Company — a company unheard of until now — were exempt. Within a few years, he will control 90 percent of the marketing of oil and a third of all of the oil wells.
Calling him a Colonel, it is hoped, will help win the respect of the locals. Seneca oil is indeed plentiful, bubbling out of seeps and collecting in the creek, but other than as a cure-all medicine or grease for the local sawmill’s machinery, it’s hardly seen as something valuable.
In fact, it can be a downright nuisance, contaminating brine wells that supply Pittsburgh’s booming salt industry.
On Monday, the very day that Colonel Drake received his final payment and an order to close down the operation, they hitched the walking beam to a water pump and the oil began to flow. Years later a local newspaper interviewed Uncle Billy about the day they struck oil: “I commenced drilling and at I struck the oil. Clark and Samuel Andrews, a chemist who had built an oil refinery but knew little about the business of getting his product to market. bought out his partners for ,500 and, with Andrews as partner, launched Rockefeller & Andrews.