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 -  Next » 

     Kings and Princes of Steel 

The stalemate was resolved by the agreement to unite in 1866 and vest the rights to all patents in a single entity, a joint stock company of New York called the “Pneumatic Steel Association”. Winslow, Griswold & Company received 70% of the profits for their essential rights to the Bessemer steel-making process in America, whereas the shareholders of the Kelly Pneumatic Process Company received 30%. John F. Winslow, John A. Griswold and Daniel J. Morrell became trustees, Zoheth Durfee, general agent and Alexander Holley, consulting engineer. Iron makers who desired to produce Bessemer steel in America were requested to join the association and pay royalties on the basis of their output .

In 1877 the U.S. steel producers used their association to create a pool of interest, instituted as the Bessemer Steel Company or Association, to restrain access to the use of Bessemer patents and act as a pool to allocate steel rail orders among its members. In these times, such pools (or cartels) were organized in almost all American industries and in most cases eventually led to a trust (like Standard Oil) or a corporation (like American Tobacco and eventually also U.S.Steel). In 1890, the Bessemer Steel Association was reorganized into the Steel Patents Company, whose influence gradually waned with the expiration of the basic patents and the consolidation of the US steel industry .

The name one remembers most in relation to the development of the US steel industry is “Carnegie”, because Carnegie Steel emerged as the most efficient and most profitable American steel producer and consequently Andrew Carnegie turned his stake in it into one of the world’s largest fortunes. His subsequent second career of a philanthropist, during which he almost completely gave away that huge fortune, did much to further amplify the fame of his name. But Carnegie was neither a pioneer steel producer, his first successful venture in steel was actually only the twelfth company in the USA to apply the Bessemer process, nor was he ever a master of this craft. He was a shrewd and sometimes ruthless investor with a knack for salesmanship and the talent to manage or even manipulate people .

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)


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

The Mining Bonanza Kings

The Railroad Barons

The Trusts



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