This is the seventh 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 #7: Vanderbilt Focuses on Rail
During the late 1850’s and early ’60’s Vanderbilt shifted his attention from the shipping industry to railroads. He bought large blocks of stock in several New York area railroads, often securing positions on the boards of directors. As in all his other ventures, Vanderbilt waited until other men had proven the profit-making potential of the industry before he plunged in.