The Gilded Age: John D. Rockefeller’s Role within the Oil Industry

The Gilded Age saw the rise of productive giants who amassed immense wealth. These mislabeled “robber barons” became incredibly rich not through robbing anyone. They became wealthy by offering products and services of high quality at attractively low prices. Thusly, a big proportion of American consumers preferred to transact with them. During this period of rapid economic growth in U.S., such industrialists earned their wealth through relentless determination, innovativeness and effective risk management.

John D. Rockefeller was purely a market entrepreneur (cite) who achieved success by producing cheap kerosene – inexpensive enough that most could afford it (cite). This transformed the lives of millions of common people in many ways. Before the founding of Standard Oil, homes were kept alight using candles. Heat would be supplied using either coal or firewood. The candles didn’t provide sufficient light and the coal was unclean. But Rockefeller’s kerosene brought more brightness, consisted of more cleanliness and was more effective for all.

Rockefeller was one of the greatest environmentalists of the Gilded Age. He loved nature and had a passion for recycling. On the contrary other oil refiners discarded their crude waste that polluted rivers and streams. Gasoline that was dumped in these water channels was a hazard since that risked the occurrence of accidental and dangerous fires by non-compliant smokers. But the paradigm of Free Market would sooner or later eliminate the inefficient and left the most efficient oil industrialists. Rockefeller found a new market segment for what was constituted in crude oil. Therefore, his effectiveness reduced the price of oil remarkably.

Rockefeller contributed majorly in the cultivation of the American middle class and positioning U.S. as a world-class industrial power. He exemplified entrepreneurial genius by leveraging on impeccable ideas from his workers. Standard Oil’s employees were remunerated handsomely. When kerosene had been extracted, Standard’s chemists discovered utility for the remaining compounds. For example, the cheap gas produced by Rockefeller gave Henry Ford the propensity to begin the automobile industry with his first invention – the Model-T car. By the turn of the 19th century millions of people worked in oil-related industries. Ultimately, those careers helped create and stratify the middle class.

The vast potential in the oil industry attracted the imagination and the business acumen of John Rockefeller. Immersing himself in the trade, he found great success for himself and countless others. He donated much of his wealth to medical research, charities and schools, and supported churches and missionaries through his philanthropy. Since he created his fortunes by revolutionizing the oil industry, he was a market entrepreneur. This is in contrast to political entrepreneurs who create their riches by exploiting governmental subsidization and political influence and dealing.


6 thoughts on “The Gilded Age: John D. Rockefeller’s Role within the Oil Industry

  1. From the beginning with Standard Oil and through the Exxon-Mobil years with David Rockefeller, this manipulative family received billions of dollars in tax subsidies annually from the U.S. government.

    They also diverted the direction of the U.S. health care system from holistic to an allopathic system of surgery and synthetic pharmaceuticals which has contributed to chronic illness – creating a heartless system that profits on pain and suffering.


  2. Wow. 😦 I just spent about 45 minutes writing a long, somewhat detailed reply on this page and, literally as I was about to copy & paste it into my e-mail to keep for possible future comments on the subject, the screen blinked out. I lost all of that work. I’m extremely disturbed by this. This has never happened to me before. There was no loss of electricity or internet access. Very strange. I will write something similar another time and try to reply to you, I want the truth known. I’m running out of time on the library computer. Have a beautiful day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No, I’m able to comment on your blog. I don’t want to sound paranoid, but it’s possible that due to the U.S. Patriot Act, which forces libraries to give access to all information disseminated online to the “intelligence” agencies, talking about this subject is flagged. I don’t know. It was sudden with no explanation. Never happened before. I’ll get back to you.


    Liked by 1 person

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