Standard Oil

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Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world[3] and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations until it was broken up by the United States Supreme Court in 1911.

John D. Rockefeller was a founder, chairman and major shareholder. As it grew exponentially and engaged in business strategies, tactics and practices that were lawful but drove many smaller businesses under, Standard Oil became widely criticized in the public eye, even as it made Rockefeller the richest man in modern history. Other notable Standard Oil principals include Henry M. Flagler, developer of Florida's Florida East Coast Railway and resort cities, and Henry H. Rogers, who built the Virginian Railway (VGN), a well-engineered highly efficient line dedicated to shipping southern West Virginia's bituminous coal to port at Hampton Roads.

Contents

Early years

Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership formed by the well-known industrialist John D. Rockefeller, his brother William Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, chemist Samuel Andrews, silent partner Stephen V. Harkness, and Oliver Burr Jennings, who had married the sister of William Rockefeller's wife. In 1870 Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil in Ohio. Of the initial 10,000 shares, John D. Rockefeller received 2,667; William Rockefeller, Flagler, and Andrews received 1,333 each; Harkness received 1,334; Jennings received 1,000; and the firm of Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler received 1,000.[4] Using highly effective tactics, later widely criticized, it absorbed or destroyed most of its competition in Cleveland in less than two months in 1872 and later throughout the northeastern United States.

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