John D Rockefeller was one of the most powerful businessmen of his time—if not the most powerful. His riches, he believed, was given to him by God's endorsement. But before becoming an oil-magnate in the U.S., John Rockefeller was just like any other person in the world, and then he went on to monopolize the oil business in the country. How did that happen? Read on to find out.
John D Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839, in New York. At 16 years old, he moved to Cleveland with his family. At an early age, John was already taking on small businesses and it didn't take long for him to finally get a real job at a commission merchants & produce shippers company Hewlett & Tuttle, as an assistant bookkeeper.
Rockefeller did well on his first job and after 4 years, at the age of 20, he resigned from Hewlett & Tuttle, though he was thriving in it. He made another business venture and worked as commission merchants in a variety of goods like grain, meats, and hay, among others. The business grossed over $450,000—and it was only on its first year!
Only 24 years old, Rockefeller, who considered himself a shrewd businessman who wasn't too keen on making pointless risks, opened his first oil refinery right outside of Cleveland. He invested everything he had in it, and 3 years after that, he was near bankruptcy. He thought of a new strategy to make sure he would also grow and made a deal with Vanderbilt, the rail road magnate, that he would give him sixty barrels of oil per day just to avail of low shipping rates.
His strategy seemed to work. Rockefeller was only 31 years old when he became the largest refined kerosene producer in the United States. He created Standard Oil, which guaranteed his clients and their customers uniform quality of kerosene.
He was already earning thousands and thousands of dollars by the day, but he refused to stop. He met up with Tom Scott, a rival of Vanderbilt, and they struck an oil & rail cartel deal despite the fact there were no contracts signed.
Shortly after that, Rockefeller quickly bought up almost all of his competitors. He was only 33 years old at that time. 90% of the oil supply in America was his to control. Apart from that, he built a pipeline that's 4,000 miles in length so that the oil can be delivered straight to Pennsylvania all the way from Ohio. This ended his dependence on railroads, in spite of Vanderbilt and Scott's pleas to provide him with lower rail rates.
The great depression has made businesses all across US no choice but to crash, and Rockefeller saw it as an opportunity to buy out what's left of his competitors at extremely low rates. His control over Kerosene went up 98%.
His monopoly of the kerosene business may have left businesses bankrupt and thousands of workers without jobs, but it taught the US a hard lesson, that monopolizing an industry is never a good thing. When it was ordered to be broken up by the high court, 34 companies, smaller in size, were born. And that practice has continued to this day.
It isn't so hard to figure out how John D Rockefeller was able to do all this. It was because he was a man who knew what he wanted, and believed in how he should go for it to make it into reality.
Though the monopolization might have not been a good thing for the country, its people certainly learned their lesson and vowed to never let it happen again. It was the birth of bigger things to come, and America just got better from there.