During the second half of the 19th century, the Chicago area became one of the world’s largest producers of steel, employing tens of thousands of local people, who worked to convert iron ore into steel and melted steel into various products, including train rails. Since then, steel and iron have been ranked major important economic enterprises in the U.S.Continue Reading
The development of the steel industry was associated with a geographical advantage, where mills could acquire raw materials from the expansive iron ore deposits in the Lake Superior region more easily and relatively cheaply. Initially, most of the iron ore used by the American steel industry was obtained from Minnesota and Michigan. The proliferation of the iron and steel industry in the Chicago area meant that companies could enjoy relatively lower costs than competitors located elsewhere. This was particularly made possible by the removal of “Pittsburgh Plus” regulation, which was the U.S. government's pricing system that had protected Pennsylvania mills against competition.
The steel industry led to the emergence of iron foundries that melted pre-processed iron ingots and cast them into products such as stoves and broilers. The most important development, however, was the establishment of the great iron-shaping enterprises in Chicago, which produced rails for railroads. During this period, the first rail-rolling mill was built in Chicago.Learn more about Industrial Revolution
John Pierpont Morgan was born into a wealthy family and received his education at the University of Göttingen, but he made money through several endeavors, namely the railroads, steel and the selling of government bonds. He saved the government from economic disaster on a couple of occasions.Full Answer >
The Industrial Revolution brought changes in the textile industry, communication, transportation and the overall quality of life. All of these changes helped move society from being more agrarian to being primarily industrial.Full Answer >
Cornelius Vanderbilt acquired his wealth through shrewd competition in the shipping industry when he owned several steamship lines, and then he owned many powerful railroads that helped make cross-country transportation cheaper and more efficient. At the time of his death in 1877, Vanderbilt was worth an estimated $100 million, a sum equal to $26 billion in September 2014.Full Answer >
The geography of the Northeastern United States contributed to increasing industrialization in the early 19th century due to the availability of land and natural resources. The need for running water and efficient routes of transportation also had a major effect.Full Answer >