A Classification of American Wealth
History and genealogy of the wealthy families of America - Sponsors

 Part 1 : Colonial and Mercantile America  Part 2 : America in the Gilded Age
 Part 3 : America in the Twentieth Century  Encyclopedia of American Wealth

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  Chronicles of American Wealth / Nr 23 / May 14, 2005

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Content :

1 – New : “Chapter 13 – Automobile and Aviation” now online
2 - Updated thematic list : "Automobile Tycoons (1919)"


New Chapter 13 : “ Automobile and Aviation “

For the time being only the first part of this chapter, about America's automobile tycoons is featured

If one technology had to be singled out to mark the beginning of the Twentieth Century and the ensuing modern American Way of Life, it would be the automobile. No invention of that time brought more change to mankind, and America, with its long distances and wide open spaces was more eager to adopt it than any other nation in the world. Cars, as horseless carriages first a curiosity, became an essential factor in the development of our nation, both in relation to consumption and as the powerful industry they created.

The automobile was a key factor of social emancipation, as it permitted the individual (farmer, small businessman and common consumer) to by-pass the highways of commerce, which at turn of the 20th century were controlled by an oligarchy of railroad and steamship magnates. Together with increased government regulation, the popularization of the automobile (cars and trucks) ended the predominance of the large railroad trusts in America (and elsewhere) and contributed to the establishment of a new social order : the emergence of the Middle Class.

This development was not that obvious in the beginnings though. 
… continued as Chapter 13 “Automobile & Aviation”

Read more about early American automobile tycoons or other wealthy American families of the past at “
A Classification of American Wealth” . 


Updated thematic list : " Automobile tycoons (1919) "

Along with the publication of the first parts of chapter 13, about automobile tycoons Henry Ford and William Crapo Durant, we have also updated the thematic list of Automobile Tycoons, adding 100 names of lesser known but equally important entrepreneurs who made a significant contribution to the American automotive industry and a sizeable personal fortune. 

Besides actual automobile manufacturers, the list now also includes leading specialized parts suppliers, highly paid executives and minority shareholders of the larger companies. The period covered is still the first two decades of the 20th century and the people must have been alive during or shortly before the evaluation year (1919). Fortunes of $1’000’000 are set for people who are likely but not sure to have attained the status of millionaires.

Browse the list of Automobile Tycoons or other wealth classification lists and read more about the wealthy Americans and wealthy American families of the past at "
Encyclopedia of American Wealth ".