Events That Changed History

  • The Oil Business

    The Oil Business
    In 1865 John D. Rockefeller and four partners set up an oil refinery in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1870 Rockefeller organized the Standard Oil Company of Ohio and set out to take over the oil industry. Rockefeller had created a major monopoly, which is total control by a single producer.
  • The Steel Business

    The Steel Business
    Before Andrew Carnegie invested in the iron industry, he was a telegraph operator. He left that job in 1865 for the iron industry. Soon after, Carnegie realized that steel would be a huge market, as it would upgrade the railroad tracks. By 1890, he was the big dog of steel industries. Then, by 1900, he was making one third of the nation's steel.
  • The First Transcontinental Railroad

    The First Transcontinental Railroad
    On this date, the first transcontinental railroad was finished. Both the Union Pacific Company and the Central Pacific Company worked to get the job done. The main goal of the railroad was to connect the east and west of the United States. The governor of California, Leland Stanford, drove the final golden spike into a tie to join each railroad on May 10, 1869.
  • Improvements to the Railroad System

    Improvements to the Railroad System
    In late 1869, George Westinghouse invented air brakes that could stop the train faster. This made travel a lot more safer. On April 1st, 1873, Eli H. Janney invented Janney car couplers, which made it easier for railroad workers to link cars. Then in 1878, Gustavus Swift invented refrigerated cars, which enabled companies to ship meat and other cold products over long distances. Finally, George M. Pullman developed the Pullman sleeping car, a luxury railroad car that people could sleep in.
  • Railroads Turn to Steel

    Railroads Turn to Steel
    In 1870 railroads started turning to steel instead of iron because steel was stronger than iron, so the railroads wouldn't break. Carnegie was a major contributor to the replacement of iron railroad tracks.
  • The Telephone

    The Telephone
    In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell developed the first telephone. He accidentally spilled battery acid on his clothing, so he called his assistant into the room through the telephone. That's when they found it the telephone worked. Later, in 1877, the Bell Telephone Company formed.
  • Strikers

    There were about eight major strikes from the years 1877 to 1914. Many employees were striking to protest against pay cuts and other factors, such as raised rent for homes. Sometimes, the U.S. sent in armed troops to simmer the crowds and try to calm them down.
  • The Light Bulb

    The Light Bulb
    In 1879, Thomas Edison developed the first lightbulb. He then made power plants that made electric power in lightbulbs. Later, on Christmas of 1880, Edison set up 40 lightbulbs around Menlo Park for everyone to see.
  • Shoe Making Machine

    Shoe Making Machine
    In 1883, Jan E. Matzeliger made the first shoe making machine. Jan E. Matzeliger is an African American inventor. The shoe making machine performed many steps that were previously done by hand.
  • The First Aircraft

    The First Aircraft
    In the 1800's inventors tried to construct an engine-powered aircraft. In 1903 the Wright brothers constructed the first engine-powered aircraft. On December 17, Orville Wright took off and flew 120 feet. The development of this plane started the airplane business.
  • Ford Model T

    Ford Model T
    The Ford Model T was released to the public in 1908. Ford made the car so anyone could afford it, anyone could drive it, and make sure almost anyone could repair it. This changed the way of transportation.