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Even though John Davison Rockefeller was not an inventor, he has a great lasting effect on the industrial revolution. John Rockefeller was born on July 8th 1839, in Richford, New York. His family moved to Cleveland in 1853. Six years later he established his first enterprise- a commission business dealing in hay, grain, meats, and other goods. Sensing the potential of the expanding oil production in western Pennsylvania in the early 1860s, he built his first oil refinery, near Cleveland, in 1863. In another two years it was the largest refinery in the area, and thereafter Rockefeller devoted himself exclusively to the oil business.

In 1870 Rockefeller and a few associates founded the Standard Oil Company of Ohio. Standard prospered and began buying out it's competitors. By 1872 it controlled nearly all the Oil refinery's in Cleveland.This let the company negotiate with railroads for favoured rates on its shipments of oil. It the aquired pipelines and terminal facilities from purchasing refineries in other cities. It sought to get bigger and bigger and expand its business in the United States. In 1881 Rockefeller and his associates placed the stock of Standard of Ohio and its affiliates in other states under the control of a board of nine trustees, with Rockefeller at the head. They thus established the first major U.S. "trust" and set a pattern of organization for other monopolies.

The Agressive practices of Standard Oil caused the United States Congress to create the Sherman Antitrust Act. Later on the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the Standard Oil Trust was a monopoly and was violating Ohio State laws. Rockefeller evaded this ruling by destroying the trust and transferring its properties to companies in other states, with interlocking directorates so that the same nine men controlled the operations of the affiliated companies. In 1899 these companies were brought back together in a holding company, Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), which existed until 1911, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared it in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and therefore illegal.

In the later years of his life, Rockefeller being a devout Baptist, devoted his attention to charity and benevolence; after 1897 he devoted himself completely to philanthropy. He made possible the founding of the University of Chicago in 1892, and by the time of his death had given it more than $80 million. In association with his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., he created major philanthropic institutions, including the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (renamed Rockefeller University) in New York City (1901); the General Education Board (1902); and the Rockefeller Foundation (1913). Rockefeller's benefactions during his lifetime totaled more than $500 million, while his and his son's totaled more than $2.5 billion by 1955. John D. Rockefeller died on May 23rd 1927, in Ormand Beach, Florida.






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