The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy
Charles R. Morris
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"Makes a reader feel like a time traveler plopped down among men who were by turns vicious and visionary."―The Christian Science Monitor
The modern American economy was the creation of four men: Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan. They were the giants of the Gilded Age, a moment of riotous growth that established America as the richest, most inventive, and most productive country on the planet.
Acclaimed author Charles R. Morris vividly brings the men and their times to life. The ruthlessly competitive Carnegie, the imperial Rockefeller, and the provocateur Gould were obsessed with progress, experiment, and speed. They were balanced by Morgan, the gentleman businessman, who fought, instead, for a global trust in American business. Through their antagonism and their verve, they built an industrial behemoth―and a country of middle-class consumers. The Tycoons tells the incredible story of how these four determined men wrenched the economy into the modern age, inventing a nation of full economic participation that could not have been imagined only a few decades earlier.
independently. Canning factories had long dealt with the same problems, and even the first department stores had quickly realized that a well laid-out work area let a salesclerk handle more customers. Attempts to stamp the Taylorist label on the multi-division corporate management systems worked out early in the century, by Gerard Swope at General Electric and Hamilton Barksdale at DuPont, are similarly unconvincing. DuPont’s paint, varnish, dye, and dynamite lines were all flow-process
O’Leary, Patrick, 187 Oliver Mining co., 320, 326–27 “Open Door” policy, 290 Otis, Harrison Gray, 40 Pacific & Atlantic Telegraph Co., 92 Pacific Mail, 138–39 Pacific Railway Act (1862), 10 Pacific Road legislation, 140–41 Pajama Game, The (musical), 314 Palmolive, 163 Panic of 1903, 268 papermaking mergers, 253–54 paperwork, rise of bigger companies and, 188–96, 192, 298 Paris Exposition of 1857, 36 of 1900, 294, 303–4 Parrish, Maxwell, 181 Parsons, Charles, 278 patents, 7,
what we have been so long anxiously waiting for. Carnegie held Junius in awe—he was the gateway to the race of godlings who dispensed world-shaking amounts of money. To be rebuked so stingingly must have twisted the little Scotsman’s bowels. It got worse. The bridge company ran out of cash in the fall, and Carnegie had to arrange yet another financing through Pierpont. The barely concealed dislike between the two may have stemmed from this first transaction. Junius always liked Carnegie, but
his oil field investment, his fortune had been built primarily from supplying services or goods to the Pennsylvania. Carnegie’s companies were always high-quality, high-performance vendors, but his real edge came from Scott’s and Thomson’s inside positions. But the same directors’ standards that had caught him and Scott short at the Union Pacific were spreading to the Pennsylvania as well. The Pennsylvania’s directors, in the aftermath of the strains from the Erie Wars, conducted a full-dress
with commissions on top, and a buyer in the late 1880s was guaranteed $4,000. Accountants and bookkeepers were getting $2,000 even in the earlier years of this period, while $1,500 salaries were apparently common in insurance companies. (The rising pay scales, moreover, coincided with steadily falling prices.) Working wives were rare in white-collar households. A follow-up of a young male clerical cohort in Boston from 1870 through 1885 found that a fourth had become professionals or independent