An Accurate Account of the “Men Who Built America” Part 18

This is the eighteenth in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical TV miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story. (Click here to see all Al’s columns on the program and its subjects.)

Post #18: Andrew Carnegie Commits to Steel

Andrew Carnegie had eggs in many baskets in the late 1860’s. He invested his money, time, and considerable management and sales skills in companies that built sleeper cars, telegraph lines, and bridges. He helped found a company that made iron railroad rails and bridge parts. He also made a lot of money selling construction bonds and speculating in railroad stocks.
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An Accurate Account of the “Men Who Built America” Part 17

This is the seventeenth in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical TV miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story. (Click here to see all Al’s columns on the program and its subjects.)

Post #17: Railroad Economics and Rockefeller Oil

Railroads were an industry where great fortunes were made and lost in post-Civil War America. When Andrew Carnegie resigned his position with the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1865 he was leaving the largest corporation in the world, a company with 30,000 employees and a capitalization of sixty-one million dollars. Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York Central was not far behind. By the early 1870’s eighty percent of the market capitalization of all American corporations was in railroad companies.

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An Accurate Account of the “Men Who Built America” Part 16

This is the sixteenth in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical TV miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story. (Click here to see all Al’s columns on the program and its subjects.)

Post #16: Carnegie Builds Cars and Bridges

The late 1860’s were a busy time for Andrew Carnegie. As the war was ending Carnegie resigned his position with the Pennsylvania Railroad to focus his energies on a handful of companies, mostly transportation and communication related, in which he held substantial blocks of stock.

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An Accurate Account of the “Men Who Built America” Part 15

This is the fifteenth in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical TV miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story. (Click here to see all Al’s columns on the program and its subjects.)

Post #15: JP Morgan Goes from Riches to Riches

American history is replete with inspiring stories of people who grew up in poverty or near-poverty and went on to achieve great financial success. John Pierpont Morgan’s story is not one of these.
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An Accurate Account of the “Men Who Built America” Part 14

This is the fourteenth in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical TV miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story. (Click here to see all Al’s columns on the program and its subjects.)

Post #14: John D. Rockefeller Decides on Oil

In 1863 twenty-four year old John D. Rockefeller entered the industry that would define his life. He was blessed with exceptional foresight, and he predicted several crucial things about the oil business with such confidence that he was able to bet his career on all of them coming true. In each case he was right.
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