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John D Rockefeller Econ


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John D Rockefeller Econ

  1. 1. John D Rockefeller BY DAVID PALMER
  2. 2. Early Life  John D Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1893 in Richford New York near Ithaca.  Rockefeller studied at Owego Academy in Owego New York which was his high school education.  He then studied for ten weeks at Folsom’s commercial College in Cleveland Ohio where he took business oriented courses that helped him excel later in life as a businessman.  His first real job was at Hewitt & Tuttle, which was a produce company, as an assistant bookkeeper. Before long he had been able to work his way up the ranks to manage all of the shipping the company did because he was so skilled at business.
  3. 3. Early Business Career  Shortly after he became 20 he quit his job with Hewitt & Tuttle and started his own grocery supply business with his friend Maurice Clark.  Their business was very successful in a competitive market mainly because of Rockefeller’s natural business skills.  The peak of business was during the civil war when food was greatly needed to feed troops.  Rockefeller soon realized that his future in the grocery business was very limited because of the location of Cleveland on Lake Erie and the fact that most food was now being transported by railroad.
  4. 4. The Start of Oil  After realizing groceries were not going to take him far he began investigating other more profitable paths. That’s when he saw the potential of oil and began to make his own refinery.  Rockefeller thought that the key to beating your competition was efficiency and attention to detail, so he basically built the refinery himself and to insure its efficiency.  One key to his early success was the fact that he exported most of his oil because of the demand in other parts of the world. Although he still had a large domestic business as well.
  5. 5. Rockefeller and Flagler  Rockefeller’s oil business really took off when he partnered with Henry Flagler. The two men had very similar ambitions and both saw the potential of oil.  They used a few basic principles to take over the industry. 1. They built high quality and larger refineries using the best materials available. 2. They made their own barrels and cut the cost from $3 to $1.50. 3. They made their own refining chemicals and found ways to recycle the chemicals for re-use. 4. They owned their own transportation (wagons, boats). 5. They owned their own storage facilities (warehouses). 6. They were the first to use tank cars on the railroad which they also owned. 7. They owned huge holding tanks that stored crude and refined oil and made it easy to put oil in tank cars. 8. They used and reused every part of oil that couldn’t be sold to help run their refineries.  This was really the start of the process of vertical integration and they left nothing to chance making them very successful.
  6. 6. Standard Oil  The Standard Oil company was a firm or trust of multiple businessmen but Rockefeller owned about a third.  His goal with Standard Oil was to control and calm a very chaotic oil business. He thought that the prices of oil and the other small inefficient refineries did not help anyone.  Rockefeller proceeded to buy up all the refineries around Cleveland and then he dismantled the bad ones and upgraded the better ones to his standards.  Then Standard had control of over 90% of oil by 1880. This happened largely because of the way Rockefeller was able to control the railroads and negotiate very favorable prices for Standard because he was such a large part of all the shipping the railroads did.  Standard imposed it’s will on businesses which made them successful but also disliked by the public which hurt them in the long run.
  7. 7. Post Oil Rockefeller  He retired from the oil business in 1897 at the age of 58.  The only challenge he had was finding out what to do with all of his money now.  Rockefeller then found something that worked to relieve his surplus of money in charity.  He basically created the University of Chicago.  He started the Rockefeller institute for medical research.  He donated 50,000,000 to schools to raise teacher’s salaries after WWI.  He also donated to many other charities and spent most of his fortune for charity by the time that he died.
  8. 8. Why Rockefeller is Important  Rockefeller is important because of the way in which he revolutionized business.  He pioneered the use of vertical integration which controls all assets involved in the process of a company.  He basically made the oil industry all that it is today.  He showed that hard work, efficiency and attention to detail were the best way to run a business and be successful at it.  Rockefeller also donated most of his money to charity throughout the course of his life especially after he was done with business.
  9. 9. Citations  Information Foner, Eric, and John A. Garraty. "Rockefeller, John D." The Reader's Companion to American History Dec. 1 1991: n.p. SIRS Researcher. Web. 09 February 2010. "Rockefeller, John D. (1839-1937)." DISCovering Biography. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection. Web. 9 Feb. 2010. Nevins, Allan. "Standard Oil Company." Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd ed. Vol .7. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 520-521. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Feb. 2010. "People & Events: John D. Rockefeller Senior, 1839-1937." American Experience. PBS, 1999. Web. 09 Feb. 2010 <>.  Pictures