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


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  Chronicles of American Wealth / Nr 15 / January 30, 2004

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Content :
1 – A new historical list : “America’s Sixty Families “
2 – Updated Wealth Classification Lists :  Individuals and Families 1900/1925
3 – Extended link collection and short term focus on Encyclopedia section5

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A new historical list :  “America’s Sixty Families “

Published in 1936, Ferdinand Lundberg’s book entitled “America’s Sixty Families” had a lasting effect on D.C. Shouter and in many ways inspired him to start “A Classification of American Wealth”.

The list, which tagged the book is based on 1924 income tax records, published by the New York Times in 1925, the first time such disclosure happened in the USA. Mr Lundberg aggregated these records and compiled a list of America’s 60 wealthiest families (well actually they were 38 families and 22 individuals), which is still a milestone for those who study the topic of wealth accumulation in the USA.

It may be no surprise to find out that the Rockefellers head the list, nor that the Fords, the Mellons and de Du Ponts prominently figure on it. Some families are not that well known nowadays though, but they were, back in the Roaring Twenties. The Harknesses, whose fortune was made in Standard Oil, for instance. Back in 1924, they were richer than the Du Ponts and their philanthropies were in the league with Andrew Carnegie’s if not quite matching the Rockefellers’. The [Payne]-Whitney’s, another Standard Oil family also faded out of public notice.

Many more could be cited here and some shortcomings of Mr Lundberg’s list, which eventually led to “A Classification of American Wealth”, could be mentioned as well. A comparison with our own list of wealthy families of 1925 (now listing 84 families) could also bee drawn and commented.

But the best way to find out is to browse and read more about the subject at "A Classification of American Wealth" :

              - AW Historical List "
America’s Sixty Families (1924)
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Additional information about Mr Lundberg’s original list  
              - Updated AW wealth classification lists for individuals and families 1900 and 1925
              - Profiles of wealth individuals and families at “
Encyclopedia of American Wealth

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Updated Wealth Classification Lists : Individuals  1900 / 1925 and Families 1900 / 1925

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Extended link collection and short term
focus on Encyclopedia section

Among the well appreciated praise about the rich content of “A Classification of American Wealth” and “Encyclopedia of American Wealth”, we also receive an increasing number of remarks or even complaints that our lists and profile collections are still incomplete.

Now this is true and the author knows it. Although the American Wealth database has in the meantime grown to well over 4’000 records and Encyclopedia of American Wealth is the most comprehensive collection of lists and profiles covering the subject of wealthy Americans and wealthy American families on Internet, there is still room for improvement.

The Tribune list of 1892 alone contains 4’047 names of American millionaires. All of them deserve to be listed and covered in detail in our encyclopedia. Many more from other periods should be included. New and more recent lists should be added ... We are working on it, but it will take time, much time.

In order to accelerate the process, it was decided that the author will focus more time on enriching the Encyclopedia section. Additions in the main text section of “A Classification of American Wealth” will come later. This has already started by the frequent additions of historical lists and simultaneous updating of the AW wealth classification lists. In addition to that, a focus on geographical location will be introduced ie updates (lists and profiles) will focus on specific cities or states.

Also, in recognition that our site has become the starting point of research for many interested visitors, we have redefined the AW database and created new dynamic web pages, allowing the author to share his extensive link collection in chapter and subject specific link sections. Part of these have been included in the present update. More will follow. The general links section will be primarily used to return links to web sites which spontaneously link to “A Classification of American Wealth”, provided their content is of interest to our vistors.

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