Standard Oil

American oil company (1870–1911) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Standard Oil Company, Inc.,[6] was an American oil production, transportation, refining, and marketing company that operated from 1870 to 1911. At its height, Standard Oil was the largest petroleum company in the world, and its success made its co-founder and chairman, John D. Rockefeller, among the wealthiest Americans of all time[7][8] and among the richest people in modern history.[9][10] Its history as one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations ended in 1911, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was an illegal monopoly.

Quick facts: Type, Industry, Founded, Founders, Defunct...
Standard Oil Company, Inc.
IndustryOil and gas
FoundedJanuary 10, 1870 (1870-01-10)
Defunct1911; 112 years ago (1911)
FateSplit into 43 different companies; Standard Oil of New Jersey (then the controlling entity) later became ExxonMobil
Successor43 successor entities
Key people
Number of employees
60,000 (1909)[5]

The company was founded in 1863 by Rockefeller and Henry Flagler, and was incorporated in 1870.[11] Standard Oil dominated the oil products market initially through horizontal integration in the refining sector, then, in later years vertical integration; the company was an innovator in the development of the business trust. The Standard Oil trust streamlined production and logistics, lowered costs, and undercut competitors. "Trust-busting" critics accused it of using aggressive pricing to destroy competitors and form a monopoly that threatened other businesses.

Rockefeller ran the company as its chairman, until his retirement in 1897. He remained the major shareholder, and in 1911, with the dissolution of the trust into 43 smaller companies, Rockefeller became the richest person in modern history, as the initial income of these individual enterprises proved to be much bigger than that of a single larger company. Standard Oil of New Jersey, the entity controlling Standard Oil at the time of the breakup, has since continued on and today is known as ExxonMobil, the largest investor-owned oil company in the world. Many other companies across multiple sectors are either direct descendants of Standard Oil (such as Chevron and Marathon Oil) or have acquired a Standard Oil descendant (such as BP and Unilever).