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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   Part II-Chapter 11 :  The Trusts  > Steel Kings  :                            « Previous  1 - 2 - 3 - 4  Next » 

   NEW  Kings and Princes of Steel  NEW


Rise of the Carnegie Steel Empire
NEW  Andrew Carnegie : from an investment in iron to a kingdom in steel
NEW  Henry Clay Frick : the consolidation of the Carnegie Steel Company

Consolidation in the steel industry
NEW  Illinois Steel
NEW  The Wire Trust (Gates)
NEW  The Moore Brothers and the Tin Plate Kings
NEW  J.P. Morgan’s hand : Federal Steel, National Tube and American Bridge
NEW  Creation of the United States Steel Corporation

Sequence in the Steel Kings’ lives (coming later)

If one should quote a product and an industry which more than any other symbolizes the industrial revolution of the Gilded Age, that would be steel. Its forerunner, iron, has marked human civilization since the ancient times and iron forges were quite familiar in Antebellum America, wherever the useful ore could be found. The Alleghenies, which cross Pennsylvania North to South and cover much of its territory, were rich in iron ore and even richer in coal deposits, which became more convenient than charcoal after the introduction of the anthracite blast furnace in the 1840s.

Thus, whilst there were blast furnaces and forges in every one of the thirteen original colonies except Georgia, the most industrialized region in America, as far as iron is concerned, was Southeastern Pennsylvania. Incidentally, the iron industry was quite developed in the American colonies by the time of the Revolution. In 1775, the region produced almost 1/7th of the world output of iron, up from a tiny 1/70th at the beginning of the 18th century and altogether more than England and Wales combined .

The colonial and antebellum iron works in America were organized on plantations or around small rural communities, more or less close to iron mines but always in the vicinity of the still abundant forests. Charcoal, preferably made from hardwood (hickory, oak, etc), was still the major fuel to heat the American furnaces well into the 19th century, while the British iron industry had already converted to coal and coke .

Only few of the colonial fortunes of America were based or significantly increased by iron works or mines though. The Livingston family’s Ancram iron works and their part ownership of the Salisbury mines contributed to the income of Livingston Manor. And both, Robert Carter III (the councilor) and Charles Carroll (III) of Carrolton (a signer of the Declaration of Independence) held substantial shares in the Baltimore Iron Works.


The Trusts  > Steel Kings  :  « Previous  1 - 2 - 3 - 4  Next »  

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