The Steel Business
By: Chloe Renfroe
Steel became a big business in the late 1800s. Before steel was not widely used because it was expensive to manufacture, but the inventions of new manufacturing helped solve that problem. Two methods of making steel helped the business grow. The Bessemer process, invented by Henry Bessemer and the open-heart process. With these methods mills could produce large amounts of steel for affordable prices. Also in 1870s large mills moved closer to sources of iron to produce better steel.
Andrew Carnegie was the leader in the early American steel industry. He started as a telegraph operator, then manager of the railroad and lead his way up to the growing steel industry. Carengie knew steel would have an enormous sell. After learning about the Bessemer process, he built a steel plant near Pittsburgh and named it after J. Edgar Thompson, the president of the Pennsylvania railroad and his biggest customer. In 1890 Andrew raised the steel industry. His company became powerful because of vertical integration. Carnegie bought all businesses of making and selling steel. He later sold his company to banker J. Pierpont Morgan. After he donates $350 million to various organizations and builds Caregie hall.
The state governments responds to the growing. In 1880 many states passed laws restricting business combinations. Many corporations avoided this law but combining in states that didn't have these laws. In 1890 congress passed the Sherman Antitrust act, "to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraint and monopoly." but this act did little to control power of large businesses.