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Thomas Edison

A deaf Edison invented the phonograph and by 1900 it was used in over 150,000 homes. His invention made going to the symphony obsolete. He also invented the light bulb. This invention changed the way of life for thousands of Americans.

Andrew Carnegie

steel king; integrated every phase of his steel-making operation. Ships, railroads, etc. pioneered "Vertical Integration" ; his goal was to improve efficiency by making supplies more reliable controlling the quality of the product at all stages of production and eliminating the middle man

John D. Rockefeller

Rockefeller was a man who started from meager beginnings and eventually created an oil empire. In Ohio in 1870 he organized the Standard Oil Company. By 1877 he controlled 95% of all of the refineries in the United States. It achieved important economies both home and abroad by it's large scale methods of production and distribution. He also organized the trust and started the Horizontal Merger.

"Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt

He founded Vanderbilt University in Tenn. He was a big man with little education but he established a shipping-land transit across Nicaragua after the gold rush. He built a railway that connected New York to Chicago in 1873. He offered superior service at low rates and was extremely successful.

Alexander Graham Bell

He was an American inventor who was responsible for developing the telephone. This greatly improved communications in the country.

J. Pierpont Morgan

He was a banker who financed the reorganization of railroads, insurance companies, and banks. He bought out Carnegie and in 1901 he started the United States Steel Corporation.

Samuel Gompers

Samuel Gompers is responsible for the formation of one of the first labor unions. The American Federation of Labor worked on getting people better hours and better wages. The formation of this triggered the formation of various others that would come later.

Vertical integration

It was pioneered by tycoon Andrew Carnegie. It is when you combine into one organization all phases of manufacturing from mining to marketing. This makes supplies more reliable and improved efficiency. It controlled the quality of the product at all stages of production.

horizontal integration

A technique used by John D. Rockefeller. Horizontal integration is an act of joining or consolidating with ones competitors to create a monopoly. Rockefeller was excellent with using this technique to monopolize certain markets. It is responsible for the majority of his wealth.


A trust is an economic tool devised late in the 1800's. It was pioneered by men such as Andrew Carnegie of the steel industry and John Rockefeller of the oil industry. The purpose of a trust is to eliminate competition in business. One powerful company will have control of the stocks of many smaller companies in the same line of business, creating a monopoly. The monopoly allows price-fixing and benefits all companies involved. Trusts were outlawed in the early 1900's.

Union Pacific Railroad

A railroad that started in Omaha, and it connected with the Central Pacific Railroad in Promentary Point, UTAH

Central Pacific Railroad

A railroad that started in Sacramento , and connected with the Union Pacific Railroad in Promentary Point, UTAH

Credit-Mobilier Scandal

This scandal occurred in the 1870s when a railroad construction company's stockholders used funds that were supposed to be used to build the Union Pacific Railroad for railroad construction for their own personal use. To avoid being convicted, stockholders even used stock to bribe congressional members and the vice president.

Standard time

the official time in a local region (adjusted for location around the Earth)

Interstate Commerce Act in1887

This act created a commission (the ICC) to check and regulate RR abuses- rates, rebates, discrimination, and required annual reports and financial statement.

Standard Oil Company

Rockefeller's first and most famous trust company


an association formed by farmers in the last 1800s to make life better for farmers by sharing information about crops, prices, and supplies

Wabash Case

"ruled that Congress, not States, could regulate railroads"

Bessemer process

an industrial process for making steel using a Bessemer converter to blast air through through molten iron and thus burning the excess carbon and impurities

National Labor Union

1866 - established by William Sylvis - wanted 8hr work days, banking reform, and an end to conviction labor - attempt to unite all laborers

Haymarket riot

A planned strike by the Knights of Labor results in police confrontation and a bomb

American federation of Labor

a federation of North American labor unions that merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955

Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890

Antitrust legistation stating: "Every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade is declared to be illegal." Terminology in the act was vague and difficult to prove.

New South

Term that identified southern promoters' belief in the technologically advanced industrial South


organizations of workers who bargain with employers as a group


times when workers refuse to work until owners improve conditions


Stirkebreakers hired by employers as replacement workers when unions went on strike


a management action resisting employee's demands

Knights of Labor

1st effort to create National union. Open to everyone but lawyers and bankers. Vague program, no clear goals, weak leadership and organization. Failed

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