This week in history: Creation of an oil behemoth

John Rockefeller © Getty images
John Rockefeller: king of the robber barons

10 January 1870

The 40 years following the American Civil War are often seen as the era of the 'robber barons'. These businessmen exploited new technologies (such as rail transport), evolving corporate structures and ruthless methods to build national business empires. The most controversial was John Rockefeller, founder of the Standard Oil Company.

From a single oil refinery in 1863, Rockefeller built his assets in partnership with other oil producers. The turning [...]

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