Standard Oil Founded


On January 10, 1870 John D. Rockefeller and four partners incorporated the Standard Oil Company. The company gained control of nearly 95% of the oil refining industry in the United States


John D.Rockefeller established an oil refining business in 1862 with three partners. In 1865 Rockefeller bought out one of the partners are renamed the company Rockefellers & Andrews. The oil market at the time was highly volatile and Rockefeller approached O.H. Payne the owner of the largest refinery in Cleveland and proposed that they unite their companies together. In the next few years they bought other companies and drove some competitors out of business. In 1870 Standard Oil of Ohio came together from these different companies with the goal of cornering the oil market and thus try to tame the market and avoid the wide swings in the market place. Rockefeller remained the main stockholder in the company as the company bought out more and more competitors closing some and using others to gain market share. Rockefeller used a unique method of maintaining control of the various companies by using an interlocking group of directors who were in control of all of the companies. Rockefeller negotiated lower rates to transport his oil by guaranteeing quantities that his competitors could not meet. The price of oil dropped from 58 cents a barrel in 1860 to 26 cents five years later. IN 1885 Standard Oil moved its headquarters to New York and reincorporated as Standard Oil of New Jersey.