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Cornelius Vanderbilt: Pioneer American Industrialist

Cornelius Vanderbilt: Pioneer American Industrialist


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Cornelius Vanderbilt was born at Port Richmond, Staten Island, New York, the son of a ferryman and farmer. During the 1830s, Vanderbilt's line became the dominant steamship presence on the Hudson River, due largely to low pricing and comfortable accommodations. The bulk of his $100 million fortune was left to his son, William.


10 Richest People Who Have Ever Lived

Carlos “More Money than God” Slim, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet are three extremely notable wealthy guys of today. However, this does not mean that they are already some of the richest people to have

Carlos “More Money than God” Slim, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet are three extremely notable wealthy guys of today. However, this does not mean that they are already some of the richest people to have ever lived.

So, who are the wealthiest people to have lived in the history of mankind? This is the question that will fortunately be answered here, after compiling the list of the 10 richest people who have ever lived. The list takes into consideration the inflation rates throughout history. Read on if you want to know who these people are and what they did to become so rich.


RAILROADS AND ROBBER BARONS

Earlier in the nineteenth century, the first transcontinental railroad and subsequent spur lines paved the way for rapid and explosive railway growth, as well as stimulated growth in the iron, wood, coal, and other related industries. The railroad industry quickly became the nation’s first “big business.” A powerful, inexpensive, and consistent form of transportation, railroads accelerated the development of virtually every other industry in the country. By 1890, railroad lines covered nearly every corner of the United States, bringing raw materials to industrial factories and finished goods to consumer markets. The amount of track grew from 35,000 miles at the end of the Civil War to over 200,000 miles by the close of the century. Inventions such as car couplers, air brakes, and Pullman passenger cars allowed the volume of both freight and people to increase steadily. From 1877 to 1890, both the amount of goods and the number of passengers traveling the rails tripled.

Financing for all of this growth came through a combination of private capital and government loans and grants. Federal and state loans of cash and land grants totaled $150 million and 185 million acres of public land, respectively. Railroads also listed their stocks and bonds on the New York Stock Exchange to attract investors from both within the United States and Europe. Individual investors consolidated their power as railroads merged and companies grew in size and power. These individuals became some of the wealthiest Americans the country had ever known. Midwest farmers, angry at large railroad owners for their exploitative business practices, came to refer to them as “robber barons,” as their business dealings were frequently shady and exploitative. Among their highly questionable tactics was the practice of differential shipping rates, in which larger business enterprises received discounted rates to transport their goods, as opposed to local producers and farmers whose higher rates essentially subsidized the discounts.

Jay Gould was perhaps the first prominent railroad magnate to be tarred with the “robber baron” brush. He bought older, smaller, rundown railroads, offered minimal improvements, and then capitalized on factory owners’ desires to ship their goods on this increasingly popular and more cost-efficient form of transportation. His work with the Erie Railroad was notorious among other investors, as he drove the company to near ruin in a failed attempt to attract foreign investors during a takeover attempt. His model worked better in the American West, where the railroads were still widely scattered across the country, forcing farmers and businesses to pay whatever prices Gould demanded in order to use his trains. In addition to owning the Union Pacific Railroad that helped to construct the original transcontinental railroad line, Gould came to control over ten thousand miles of track across the United States, accounting for 15 percent of all railroad transportation. When he died in 1892, Gould had a personal worth of over $100 million, although he was a deeply unpopular figure.

In contrast to Gould’s exploitative business model, which focused on financial profit more than on tangible industrial contributions, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was a “robber baron” who truly cared about the success of his railroad enterprise and its positive impact on the American economy. Vanderbilt consolidated several smaller railroad lines, called trunk lines, to create the powerful New York Central Railroad Company, one of the largest corporations in the United States at the time (Figure). He later purchased stock in the major rail lines that would connect his company to Chicago, thus expanding his reach and power while simultaneously creating a railroad network to connect Chicago to New York City. This consolidation provided more efficient connections from Midwestern suppliers to eastern markets. It was through such consolidation that, by 1900, seven major railroad tycoons controlled over 70 percent of all operating lines. Vanderbilt’s personal wealth at his death (over $100 million in 1877), placed him among the top three wealthiest individuals in American history.

“The Great Race for the Western Stakes,” a Currier & Ives lithograph from 1870, depicts one of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s rare failed attempts at further consolidating his railroad empire, when he lost his 1866–1868 battle with James Fisk, Jay Gould, and Daniel Drew for control of the Erie Railway Company.


Railroad Battle

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Cornelius Vanderbilt Antique Mughal Rug

A late seventeenth century Indian Mughal rug sold for an astonishing $7.6 million at a Christie’s auction on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. The exemplary piece – a rug of Mughal Indian origin – had once belonged to the renowned American industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who bequeathed the piece to his daughter upon his passing in 1899.

When Vanderbilt himself originally purchased the piece in the latter half of the nineteenth century, there was an incredible demand for fine antique Oriental rugs, especially among the most prominent American families of the era.

In addition to Vanderbilt, other influential American businessmen, such as J. P. Morgan, William A. Clark, and John D. Rockefeller, also acquired exemplary rugs from Persia, Turkey and India.

Cornelius Vanderbilt Antique Mughal Rug

Vanderbilt himself was especially passionate about rare antique carpets, and purchased the Mughal rug that sold at Tuesday’s auction to decorate his personal New York City mansion, displaying the piece on the wall of his “Moorish Smoking Room” in his home at 1 West 57 th Street.

So attached was Vanderbilt to this Mughal carpet that, when he began spending more time at The Breakers – Vanderbilt’s Newport, Rhode Island mansion – he had the piece moved there to be hung in his master bedroom. The rug was passed on to Vanderbilt’s daughter in 1899, who kept it until 1977.

Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Antique Mughal Rug

Thus, this remarkable rug remained in the possession of the Vanderbilt family for nearly a century – a large part of the reason that it remains in such impeccable condition.

That fine antique rugs are demanding such lavish prices at the best auctions is certainly an exciting and intriguing development, perhaps indicative of a growing appreciation for the inherent artistic value of these wonderful works.

Check out some of our favorite Mughal rugs from our collection:

Large Antique 17th Century Mughal Gallery Carpet

Antique 17th – 18th Century Mughal Velvet Textile

Antique Indian 17th Century Mughal Rug

This rug blog about Mughal rugs was published by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in Manhattan NYC.


Lessons From Vanderbilt And Rockefeller: Know Your 'One Big Thing'

With all of the media coverage about Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos, it’s easy to forget that many of the gutsiest moves in business history happened long before Bill Gates was even a twinkle in his mother’s eye.

Cornelius Vanderbilt made his fortune by focusing on One Big Thing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In learning about the tycoons who built America (there’s a great series on the History Channel about this), it is clear that what turned out to be some of the gutsiest moves in business history could easily have been disastrous mistakes. Were they incredible strokes of luck? Or evidence that some of the business principles we cling to today have truly stood the test of time? Either way, the lessons that the early capitalists teach us are surprising — and just as relevant today as they were 150 years ago.

Take Cornelius Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt was a scrappy and pugnacious man who started his career ferrying cargo around the New York harbor. He borrowed $100 from his parents to invest in his own boats. In 1817, at the age of 23, he began working for a steamboat captain and learned everything he could about the burgeoning technology of steamships. He started building ships to support his own commercial ferry service. By charging lower fares (among other, some say more ruthless, tactics), he wiped out his competition and amassed a fortune.

And then, after beating the competition to open the fastest steamship route from New York to San Francisco during the Gold Rush (his line cut through Nicaragua everyone else sailed through Panama), he pivoted. He saw that trains, not ships, were the next big thing in transportation. So Vanderbilt started selling his stake in the steamship industry and investing in railroads. Within five years of his switch to rail, he reportedly made $25 million and eventually became the richest man in America.

How was Vanderbilt able to make such a gutsy move, abandoning shipping and betting his entire fortune on railroads? Because he never saw himself in the shipping business. Vanderbilt saw himself as being in the transportation business. Shipping was just the best technology around at the time when something better came along, he was ready to adapt.

Then there’s John Rockefeller, one of the most successful businesspeople in American history. Rockefeller made his fortune in the oil business, but not like we think of it today. When Rockefeller came of age, the world’s productivity was literally constrained by darkness. Affordable indoor lighting was rare, so once the sun went down, people pretty much had to go to sleep. Rockefeller processed petroleum for kerosene used in lamps, helping to make indoor lighting affordable for the average family. He founded Standard Oil, which quickly achieved a monopoly in the kerosene industry. But just as his fortunes started to swell, a new technology — electricity — started to sunset demand for kerosene.

Based on Vanderbilt’s story, you’d think that the logical move would have been for Rockefeller to get into the electricity business, but that’s not what happened.

“The person who starts out simply with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed,” Rockefeller once said. “You must have a larger ambition.” Rockefeller’s ambition was vested in oil, not the idea of indoor lighting. Accordingly, when the technology changed, he embraced a different kind of pivot: He looked for new markets for the product he knew so well.

Rockefeller bet on cars and began refining oil for gasoline — and the bet paid off. Despite an onslaught of lawsuits and Standard Oil’s eventual breakup into dozens of companies, including Exxon, the man who never aimed to be rich gave away $550,000,000 — more money than any man before him ever even earned.

They pivoted in different ways, but both Rockefeller and Vanderbilt seemed driven by a business principle we find familiar: They both knew what their One Big Thing was. For Rockefeller, it was oil, whether for lamps or for cars. For Vanderbilt, it was transportation, whether ships or trains. When confronted with new technologies, each focused on the one thing he knew best.

So, fellow entrepreneurs, what is your One Big Thing? If you don’t know what it is, take a lesson from the tycoons and figure it out. It’s the best compass you can have for navigating rapidly changing markets and technologies.

What are some other gutsy moves in business history that prove — or belie — the modern principles we so frequently embrace as we look to make our own history? Shoot me your ideas in the comments section below I hope to make this a running theme for future posts.


Poor Little Rich Girl: The Gloria Vanderbilt Custody Battle

Gloria’s father, Reginald Vanderbilt, was your typical wealthy, unproductive “moocher.” His main occupation in life consisted of investing in racehorses, heavy drinking, and squandering his inheritance. To be quite frank, his greatest accomplishment was being born a Vanderbilt.

In his mid-40’s, he married a 17-year-old society beauty, Gloria Morgan, who gave birth to their daughter, also named Gloria. Years of alcoholism brought an inevitable fate and Reginald died from cirrhosis in 1925. Unbeknownst to his 19-year old widow, Reginald incurred massive debt and had depleted his finances.

Fortunately for her infant daughter, two-year-old Gloria Vanderbilt was set to inherit half of 5 million dollars, approximately $63 million today, when she turned eighteen from the Vanderbilt family trust. This made her a proper little heiress.

The widowed Gloria Vanderbilt was forced to rely on a generous trust interest. Young and hungry for adventure, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt went on lavish, spend-rift traveling trips to Paris, London, Cannes, Hollywood, Monte Carlo, Biarritz, and Switzerland. This was followed by a whirlwind of all-night parties, shopping, casino gambling, and beach resorts.

Beautiful, wealthy, and a splendid society hostess allowed for Gloria to mingle with royalty, including Edward, the Prince of Wales. She even found herself briefly engaged to a destitute yet charming German prince. Her closest friend was the vivacious Nadejda Mountbatten, marchioness of Milford Haven.

Meanwhile, little Gloria was often left behind with her nanny, Emma Keislich who raised her. The nurse was hideously possessive over Gloria and terrorized her with tales that her mother might kill her. The nanny despised her mistress for leading an extravagant lifestyle. The nanny would be left fuming whenever Gloria Morgan pranced off to party with her royal friends.

The constant traveling and unstable surroundings made 10-year-old Gloria sick and they were forced to return to America for a tonsillitis operation. Gertrude Vanderbilt, the aunt to the little Gloria, graciously offered her home on Long Island for her to regain her strenght. In a hurry to return to her splendorous life in Europe, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt delightedly agreed.

Months passed and little Gloria who had a sickly constitution visibly improved. Gertrude enrolled her in school and by all accounts, she was well taken care of.

Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt returned to New York to retrieve her daughter for unscrupulous reasons: her monthly allowance was cut in half as she was no longer living with her child. Gertrude Vanderbilt bluntly refused to hand her niece over and cited that she was an unfit mother.

On September 25th, 1934, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt claimed that Gertrude Vanderbilt “spirited” her daughter away while the girl was feeding birds in Central Park and was holding her captive. In retaliation, the aunt sued the mother for full-custody.

From then onwards, an ugly battle of malicious gossip and slander would take place.


Entreprenuers of the Industrial Revolution – History Essay

The Industrial Revolution did not just happen in America, although America was the driving force of the Industrial Revolution. Many things were invented during this time, around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The most notable inventions were the telephone, affordable automobiles, and assembly lines. There were many things that had been invented years before this time but been improved, such as the electric lightbulb, x-rays, and improved shipping methods. Many notable men in history made their mark, or many marks, during this time.

Cornelius Vanderbilt had a booming shipping business around this time, all starting out with him buying a small boat as a kid. Over many years, the small shipping business he started with that one boat turned into a near-monopoly for him. “Commodore”, as Vanderbilt was nicknamed, dyed for the title of “America’s Wealthiest Man”, which he came close to. He didn’t get to the top of his industry from nothing. He was smart, diligent, and he was a careful planner. Once he had noticed that the railroad was quickly becoming popular in America, he sold his shipping business and started another shipping business, but by train instead of by boat. In later years, he took much of his money and donated it to charities.

Another big name is John Rockefeller, who earned the title “Richest Man in America”. He got into the oil business and quickly gained solid footing in this industry. His company, Standard Oil Co., grew to control 90% of the American kerosene industry, which brought lamp light into many American homes. He also wiped out some of his competition by building pipelines to pump oil throughout the nation instead of shipping the oil by train. This angered his competition and lowered costs, which lowered the price of oil. Unfortunately, the US government broke up Standard Oil Co. because of the antitrust acts and laws that were in effect at the time. because of this, Rockefeller bought stock in the newly-formed oil companies. This was a smart move for Rockefeller, as this made him even richer than before.

Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland. He immigrated to America and then became a bobbin boy, getting paid approximately $1.20 per week. He managed to get into the telegraph business after that, then he managed to get into the bridge business, and then finally, he got into the steel industry. In 1889, his business, Carnegie Steel Corporation, was booming. He was at the top of the steel industry. Fortunately, Carnegie was insanely lucky that he sold his business to J. P. Morgan for $480,000,000, as he would have lost it all to the antitrust laws in effect if he had kept the company for too long. He gave away almost all of the money he earned to charities and to libraries.

John Pierpont Morgan, better known as J. P. Morgan, was a very powerful man in his time of the Industrial Revolution. He started out in banking, making risky, and even questionable, transactions. He funded the electric lightbulb, and grew so powerful and wealthy that he bailed out the US government in 1893. In 1907, President Ted Roosevelt asked Morgan to help organize New York bankers during the economic bump the nation was suffering. Morgan used $30.5M in capital to help calm down nerves. In return, he was granted immunity from antitrust charges. When he died 4 years later, he left behind two of the largest corporations America had ever seen: US Steel, which was previously known as Carnegie Steel Corporation, and General Electric, which Morgan had bought from Edison.

Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Henry Ford were all men who served America and its economy in different ways, although none of them were nearly as rich and powerful as Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan were. Edison was an inventor and innovator. He accumulated 1,093 patents before he died in 1931. Contrary to popular belief, Edison did not invent the electric lightbulb he just improved it and made it more available to the public.

Nikola tesla was born in Serbia but immigrated to America, where he became an engineer, inventor and innovator. He promoted AC (alternating current) electricity over DC (direct current ) electricity, which is what Edison preferred. Tesla also invented different motors and machines that used AC.

Henry Ford created the Model T, America’s first affordable car, selling for $825 each. He also put the steering wheel on the left side, which was quickly copied by other car and automobile manufacturers. He also used the assembly line for manufacturing his automobiles the first time done so in history! Although he worked his employees long and hard, he gave them good pay, unlike most of the men previously mentioned.

A “robber baron” is someone who is so greedy for more wealth and power that they resort to dealing with people unethically in order to improve their own position. Examples of robber barons are Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan. Ford does not fit into this description as he tried to improve his employees’ lives by paying them more than other employers would, even double the amount normally paid by others!

The Industrial Revolution did not just happen in America, although America was the driving force of the Industrial Revolution. Many things were invented during this time, around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. The most notable inventions were the telephone, affordable automobiles, and assembly lines. There were many things that had been invented years before this time but been improved, such as the electric lightbulb, x-rays, and improved shipping methods. Many notable men in history made their mark, or many marks, during this time.

Cornelius Vanderbilt had a booming shipping business around this time, all starting out with him buying a small boat as a kid. Over many years, the small shipping business he started with that one boat turned into a near-monopoly for him. “Commodore”, as Vanderbilt was nicknamed, dyed for the title of “America’s Wealthiest Man”, which he came close to. He didn’t get to the top of his industry from nothing. He was smart, diligent, and he was a careful planner. Once he had noticed that the railroad was quickly becoming popular in America, he sold his shipping business and started another shipping business, but by train instead of by boat. In later years, he took much of his money and donated it to charities.

Another big name is John Rockefeller, who earned the title “Richest Man in America”. He got into the oil business and quickly gained solid footing in this industry. His company, Standard Oil Co., grew to control 90% of the American kerosene industry, which brought lamp light into many American homes. He also wiped out some of his competition by building pipelines to pump oil throughout the nation instead of shipping the oil by train. This angered his competition and lowered costs, which lowered the price of oil. Unfortunately, the US government broke up Standard Oil Co. because of the antitrust acts and laws that were in effect at the time. because of this, Rockefeller bought stock in the newly-formed oil companies. This was a smart move for Rockefeller, as this made him even richer than before.

Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland. He immigrated to America and then became a bobbin boy, getting paid approximately $1.20 per week. He managed to get into the telegraph business after that, then he managed to get into the bridge business, and then finally, he got into the steel industry. In 1889, his business, Carnegie Steel Corporation, was booming. He was at the top of the steel industry. Fortunately, Carnegie was insanely lucky that he sold his business to J. P. Morgan for $480,000,000, as he would have lost it all to the antitrust laws in effect if he had kept the company for too long. He gave away almost all of the money he earned to charities and to libraries.

John Pierpont Morgan, better known as J. P. Morgan, was a very powerful man in his time of the Industrial Revolution. He started out in banking, making risky, and even questionable, transactions. He funded the electric lightbulb, and grew so powerful and wealthy that he bailed out the US government in 1893. In 1907, President Ted Roosevelt asked Morgan to help organize New York bankers during the economic bump the nation was suffering. Morgan used $30.5M in capital to help calm down nerves. In return, he was granted immunity from antitrust charges. When he died 4 years later, he left behind two of the largest corporations America had ever seen: US Steel, which was previously known as Carnegie Steel Corporation, and General Electric, which Morgan had bought from Edison.

Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Henry Ford were all men who served America and its economy in different ways, although none of them were nearly as rich and powerful as Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan were. Edison was an inventor and innovator. He accumulated 1,093 patents before he died in 1931. Contrary to popular belief, Edison did not invent the electric lightbulb he just improved it and made it more available to the public.

Nikola tesla was born in Serbia but immigrated to America, where he became an engineer, inventor and innovator. He promoted AC (alternating current) electricity over DC (direct current ) electricity, which is what Edison preferred. Tesla also invented different motors and machines that used AC.

Henry Ford created the Model T, America’s first affordable car, selling for $825 each. He also put the steering wheel on the left side, which was quickly copied by other car and automobile manufacturers. He also used the assembly line for manufacturing his automobiles the first time done so in history! Although he worked his employees long and hard, he gave them good pay, unlike most of the men previously mentioned.

A “robber baron” is someone who is so greedy for more wealth and power that they resort to dealing with people unethically in order to improve their own position. Examples of robber barons are Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan. Ford does not fit into this description as he tried to improve his employees’ lives by paying them more than other employers would, even double the amount normally paid by others!


Conteníu

Mientres la so mocedá, Cornelius Vanderbilt trabayó nos tresbordadores de Nueva York, arrenunciando a la escuela a la edá de 11 años. Pa los 16 años taba operando'l so propiu negociu de tresporte de pasaxeros ente Staten Island y Manhattan.

Mientres la Guerra de 1812, recibió un contratu gubernamental p'apurrir suministros a los fuertes asitiaos alredor de la ciudá de Nueva York, per mediu de goletes a vela, oficiu pol que llogró'l so llamatu de "Comodoro".

En 1818 dirixó la so atención escontra los barcos de vapor. La llexislación neoyorquina otorgaba a Robert Fulton y a Robert Livingston un monopoliu llegal sobre'l tráficu d'embarcaciones de vapor, lo que prohibía llegalmente la competencia. Trabayando para Thomas Gibbons, Vanderbilt competía ameyorando los precios ufiertaos por Fulton y Livingston pal serviciu ente Nueva Brunswick (Nueva Jersey) y Manhattan, un importante tramu de la ruta comercial ente Nueva York y Filadelfia.

Vanderbilt llogró afletase d'aquellos que buscaben arrestalo y confiscar la so embarcación. Livingston y Fulton ufiertáron-y un codalosu emplegu pilotando'l so barcu, pero Vanderbilt refugó la ufierta diciendo "nun m'importa tantu faer dineru, sinón probar los mios argumentos y llograr una ventaya.". Pa Vanderbilt, l'argumentu yera la superioridá de la llibre competencia y la maldá de los monopolios gubernamentales. [11] Arriendes de esto Livingston y Fulton interpunxeron una demanda el casu llegó a la Corte Suprema de los Estaos Xuníos y finalmente acabó col monopoliu de Fulton y Livingston.

En 1829 Vanderbilt independizar p'apurrir serviciu de barcu a vapor nel ríu Hudson ente Manhattan y Albany]]. Pa la década de 1840 tenía 100 barcos a vapor percorriendo'l Hudson, y la reputación de cuntar con más emplegaos que nengún otru negociu nos Estaos Xuníos.

Mientres la Fiebre del Oru de California en 1849, ufiertó tresporte per mediu d'un atayu pasando por Nicaragua escontra California, esaniciando 960 quilómetros del percorríu y un 50% sobre'l costo d'un viaxe al traviés del Ismu de Panamá.

Interés inicial nos ferrocarriles Editar

Ustedes

hanse dedicáu a engañar. Nun pienso demandalos, pos la llei ye demasiáu lenta. Pienso arruinalos.

El papel que xugara Vanderbilt nel desenvolvimientu inicial del ferrocarril llevólu a ser víctima d'unu de los primeros accidentes n'Estaos Xuníos. El 11 de payares de 1833, Vanderbilt viaxaba como pasaxeru nun tren de Camden & Amboy que descarriló nunos praos próximos a Hightstown, New Jersey por cuenta de la rotura de la exa d'un carru. Pasó un mes recuperándose de les feríes qu'incluyeron dos costilles quebraes y un pulmón furáu. Nel mesmu accidente resultó ilesu'l Presidente de los Estaos Xuníos John Quincy Adams, quien viaxaba un vagón delantre del descarrilado.[5]

En 1844, Vanderbilt foi escoyíu direutor del ferrocarril de Long Island, que nesi entós cuntaba con una ruta ente Boston y Nueva York per mediu d'un transbordo a barcu de vapor ([6]). En 1857 foi nomáu direutor del ferrocarril de Nueva York y Harlem ([7]).

Ferrocarril Central de Nueva York Editar

A entamos de la década de 1860, Vanderbilt empezó a retirar la so capital del negociu navieru ya invertilo en ferrocarriles. Adquirió'l ferrocarril de Nueva York y Harlem en 1862-63, el ferrocarril del Ríu Hudson en 1864, y el Ferrocarril Central de Nueva York en 1867. En 1869 fundir nel ferrocarril Central de Nueva York y el Ríu Hudson.

Gran Bodega Central Editar

N'ochobre de 1871, Vanderbilt formalizó una sociedá col ferrocarril de Nueva York y New Haven, xuniéndolo colos ferrocarriles de la so propiedá pa consolidar les sos operaciones nuna terminal, allugada na cai 43 Oeste, llamada Gran Bodega Central, que foi la primera Gran Terminal Central, onde hasta la fecha atopa una estatua de Vanderbilt. El techu de cristal de la estación colapsó mientres una pedriscada'l mesmu día que morrió Vanderbilt, en 1877. La estación foi reemplazada nel periodu de 1903 a 1913.

Rivalidá con Jay Gould Editar

Para 1873, estendiera les sos llinies ferriales hasta Chicago. Por esta dómina Vanderbilt intentó llograr el control del ferrocarril de Erie, lo que lo punxo en conflictu direutu con Jay Gould, quien tenía control del ferrocarril. Gould ganó la batalla pol control "esleiendo" les sos aiciones, que Vanderbilt mercó en grandes cantidaes. Ésti perdió más de 7 millones de dólares nel so intentu por llograr el control, anque dempués Gould recuperó la mayor parte d'esti dineru.

Vanderbilt taba acostumáu a llograr lo que deseyaba, pero aparentemente atopó la bigornia del so zapatu en Jay Gould. Vanderbilt diría, con rellación a la so derrota, "nunca patisques un zorrillo". Nun sería la última vegada que Gould desafiaría a unu de los Vanderbilt. Años dempués de la muerte del so padre, William Vanderbilt llogró'l control de la compañía de telégrafos Western Union. Entós Gould inauguró l'American Telegraph Company, cuasi llogrando sacar a la Western Union del negociu esto dexó a William cola única opción d'adquirir les aiciones de Gould, quien llogró una enorme ganancia na transaición.

Tres la muerte de la so esposa, Vanderbilt foi a Canadá onde casóse con una prima, Srta. Crawford, orixinaria de Mobile, Alabama, el 21 d'agostu de 1869. La madre de Crawford, y la so futura suegra, yera hermana de Phebe Hand Vanderbilt (madre del Comodoro) y de Elizabeth Hand Johnson (antigua suegra y tía de Vanderbilt). La señorita Crawford yera 43 años menor que'l so maríu. Foi'l so sobrín quien convenció a Cornelius Vanderbilt de financiar lo que finalmente sería la Universidá Vanderbilt.

Home de negocios

implacable, dicir de Vanderbilt que na so vida fixera pocos amigos y munchos enemigos. La perceición pública yera la d'un home vulgar y mezquino que faía la vida de quien lo arrodiaben, incluyida la so familia, daqué miserable.

Solía dicir que les muyeres mercaben les sos aiciones por cuenta de la so fotografía nel certificáu d'adquisición. Nel so testamentu, desheredó a tolos sos fíos sacante a William, que yera tan implacable nos negocios como'l so padre, y l'únicu que Cornelius creyó capaz de caltener el so imperiu.

A la so muerte a los 82 años, envalorábase la fortuna de Vanderbilt en más de 100 millones de dólares. Mandó 95 millones al so fíu William, pero "namái" 500,000 a caúna de los sos ocho fíes. La so esposa recibió 500,000 dólares n'efectivu, la so modesta residencia na ciudá de Nueva York, y 2,000 aiciones comunes del ferrocarril Central de Nueva York.

Vanderbilt donó apenes una pequeña parte de la so fortuna a la beneficencia, incluyendo 1 millón de dólares pa la Universidá Vanderbilt y 50,000 a la Ilesia de los Estraños na ciudá de Nueva York. El so estilu de vida yera modestu, dexando a los sos descendientes la construcción de les Residencies Vanderbilt que caracterizaron la post guerra civil d'Estaos Xuníos.

Descendientes Editar

Cornelius Vanderbilt foi soterráu na cripta familiar nel campusantu Moravian de New Dorp, Staten Island. Trés de les sos fíes y el so fíu Cornelius Jeremiah Vanderbilt, se inconformaron contra'l so testamentu alegando que'l so padre tenía delirios de llocura y nun taba nos sos cabales. La infructuosa batalla llegal duró más d'un añu, llevando al suicidiu de Cornelius Jeremiah en 1882.


Then as Now, Businessmen Bent on Power

The titans of the early industrial age get a professional-wrestling sort of treatment in the slickly made docu-series “The Men Who Built America,” which begins on Tuesday night on the History channel.

The program may not contain any startling revelations about its five principal subjects, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford. But based on the first episode, it certainly gives them a modern-day relevance, perhaps unintentionally. It connects them to the super-rich business executives of today who seem more interested in machinations and profits than in people.

The series begins in 1865, just after the assassination of Lincoln, and it lays out its central theme bluntly. “For the first time in the country’s short existence,” the narration says, “the man most capable of leading America is not a politician.”

He is, the series hypothesizes, Vanderbilt, and he certainly helps lead the country into the industrial age by creating a railroad empire. The episode recaps his career through the familiar combination of narration and re-enactment (with the re-enactments being of especially high quality for this type of series), but there’s a twist. Instead of using biographers and academics as talking heads, the series gets its color commentary from modern-day figures who have loomed large in the worlds of business and finance, like Mark Cuban, Jack Welch and Steve Wozniak.

This is the brawn-on-brawn view of history: the focus is on how the five titans outmuscled their competitors and sometimes one another to build business empires and personal fortunes of absurd — some might say obscene — size. (The re-enactments foster this tone with slow-motion striding, clipped conversation and so on the business world version of macho.)

Perhaps future episodes will explore whether this was the only way that the job of industrialization could have been accomplished. But the first installment, which introduces Vanderbilt and Rockefeller and foreshadows the emergence of Carnegie, seems interested in gamesmanship for gamesmanship’s sake.

It’s an unflattering portrait of these men, one that suggests that they didn’t care about the people who depended on them for jobs or about what their posturing and stock market fiddling were doing to the overall economy. There may be accuracy to that view, but of course it’s an oversimplification, as countless libraries, museums and other examples of their philanthropy attest.

Yet the tone also gives the series a timeliness. Amid all the attention two men are getting as they try to win the presidency here in 2012, it’s a reminder that most of the things that directly shape our personal lives — the jobs, the goods, the utilities, even the pollution — are created and controlled by people who never stand for election.


Watch the video: Vanderbilts Biltmore Estate: 6 Years to Build, 43 Bathrooms Aerial America. Smithsonian Channel (July 2022).


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