THE RISE OF BIG BUSINESS



INTRODUCTION


"The Business of the United States is Business," a great man once said. The United States has heralded around the globe for its incredible economic system. The growth of the United States started off small with minor discoveries and inventions, such as oil and electricity, and with those in place emergence of new technologies and innovations came underway. The railroads came about very slowly and became very popular. A man named Henry Bessemer came up with a way to make steel cheaply and efficiently (Bessemer Process). With the prices of steel dropping railroads were being built all across the nation. Major business tycoons, such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, took advantage of the demand for oil and steel and started their own companies and later developed a monopoly in their own area of business. New laws and business practices were also enforced. These topics will be addressed in the following pages.















ENERGY FROM OIL & ELECTRICITY


Common in all industries was the consumption and high use of electricity. The United States strived to find a cheap and efficient source of electricity to power its companies. Oil and the invention of the dynamo greatly aided industries need for power.
Edwin Drake (a railroad conductor) was the first to drill for oil. Edwin Drake made quick profits and many others followed his path. There were many uses for oil, which became very useful and cost-effective. Oil was used to lubricate machinery parts and later became a major part in the internal combustion engine. This engine later made the emergence of automobile possible.
Large-scale use of electricity was not fully tapped until about the mid 1800\'s. Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry invented an invention called the dynamo. The dynamo produced enough electricity to run factories from the use of steam, and water.
With electricity fully understood Thomas Edison began his work. Thomas Edison made more than a thousand different inventions in his lifetime. His work helped make the use of electricity more efficient and also contributed many major inventions.






AMERICAN RAILROADS


Colonel John Stevens first conceived the concept of constructing a railroad in the United States, in 1812. He described his theories in a collection of works called "Documents tending to prove the superior advantages of railways and steam carriages over canal navigation."
The earliest railroads constructed were horse drawn cars running on tracks, used for transporting freight. The first to be established and built was the Granite Railway of Massachusetts (1826), that ran approximately three miles. The first regular carrier of passengers and freight was the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, completed on February 28, 1827. It was not until Christmas Day, 1830, when the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company completed the first mechanical passenger train, that day the modern railroad industry was born. This industry would have a profound effect on the nation in the coming decades, often determining how an individual lived his life.
By 1835, dozens of local railroad networks had been put into place. Each one of these tracks went no more than a few miles, but the true potential for this mode of transportation was finally being realized. With every passing year, the number of these railway systems grew incredibly. By 1850, over 9,000 miles of track had been lain. Along with the generating of railroads came increased standardization of the field. An ideal locomotive was developed which served as the model for all subsequent trains. Various companies began to cooperate with one another, to both maximize profits and minimize expenditures.
This interaction of various companies initiated the trend of combination, which would continue through the rest of the Nineteenth Century. In 1850, the New York Central Railroad Company was formed by the merging of a dozen small railroads between the Hudson River and Buffalo. Single companies had begun to extend their railway systems outside of the local domain. Between 1851 and 1857, the federal government issued land grants to Illinois to construct the Illinois Central railroad. The government made the growth of one of the largest companies in the nation possible.
With the Civil War, production of new railroads fell dramatically. At the same time, however, usage of this means of transportation increased greatly. By the conclusion of the war, the need for an even more diverse extension of railways