Joanna Linzer '07
When Ida Tarbell first published her serial History of the Standard Oil Company, she did not think anyone would read it.1 Even today, many believe that Tarbell was little more than the defensive daughter of an independent oilman. To these critics, Tarbell is nothing more than an angry moralist, not at all a progressive. But in fact, Tarbell both characterized and expanded the progressive movement through her clash with John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil. Although Tarbell herself held a nuanced view of Standard Oil’s legitimacy, she incited a hatred of the corporation’s practices in the general American public that eventually tested new legislation’s ability to determine whether a trust had violated the law.
The eventual conflict between Tarbell and Standard Oil was the long-term result of the intersection of chance circumstances. Arbitrary geological processes had placed great quantities of crude oil beneath the hills of northwestern Pennsylvania. Against all odds, “Colonel” Edwin Drake invented a procedure to pump oil from the ground at will. Meanwhile, the sudden demand for Pennsylvania oil as a cheap illuminant sent thousands rushing to find fortunes in the derricks. 

Since the mid-18th century, settlers of northwestern Pennsylvania had observed greenish-black oil rising to the top of Oil Creek, the principal waterway of the area. Called “rock oil” to distinguish it from common illuminants of the day, the substance was sometimes used for medicinal purposes, but was otherwise ignored. But by 1850, the demand for cheap and effective light sources had exploded due to the Industrial Revolution. Organic oils were no longer viable options for the growing population. As whales disappeared as a result of over-hunting, scientists began to develop fuels derived from coal and other minerals. In 1847 James Young derived kerosene from rock oil, but the inaccessibility of oil limited the use of the product.2 

Edwin Drake seemed an unlikely candidate to explore the possible methods to extract oil in significant quantities. A sickly man, he was selected by the nascent Seneca Oil Company for the job primarily because he had a pass for the rail trip to Pennsylvania.3 Nevertheless, through the drilling project that dubbed the first oil well “Drake’s Folly,” Drake became the first man to deliberately pump oil from the earth. Suddenly, oil became a true commodity, as kerosene was now a viable product. As land prices in the oil regions skyrocketed, thousands rushed to build their own oil well, or to participate in the exploding cities of the oil regions—Titusville, Oil City, Pithole, and others. These first derricks operated on the rules of capture—essentially, anything beneath the surface of a parcel of land was the landowner’s property.4 Thus speculators often built wells directly adjacent to one another, struggling to grab hold of their share of the riches. Because there was no oil drilling anywhere else in the world in this early stage of the industry, northwestern Pennsylvania flourished into the 1870s as an exponentially growing industry with no 

And as the multitudes flocked in to “kick down a well” and gain instant riches, a single man, a single company, was poised to gain economic control of the entire oil industry. John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, possessed the financial skills necessary to dominate the fluctuating oil trade. From childhood, he constantly sought economic opportunity. Rockefeller had realized as a boy that he could earn more money lending to his peers at interest than working himself.6 At age 16, he left for Cleveland alone with a thousand dollars borrowed from his father, at interest.7 Instead of fighting in the Civil War, Rockefeller found economic good in the bloody battles and sold supplies to the Union army.8 Before the end of the war, however, he read about the nascent oil industry9 and found even more money to be made in oil refining, as oil began to replace organic fuels as a lubricant for machines and fuel for kerosene lamps.10 

Rockefeller’s economic sense had detected the pulse of the region at the time. America’s emerging industrial revolution produced huge demands on the first oil boom. At the height of industrial growth, new machines demanded great quantities of oil as a lubricant.11 Masses of Americans adjusting to the sudden availability of consumer products consumed great quantities of kerosene, itching to use the new cheap and universal light source. Simultaneously, the oil-producing industry was growing so rampantly that it became quite disorganized. The oil industry had begun so quickly that in the early 1860s, there were neither railroads nor refineries in the oil regions. There existed only rough-hewn roads leading to the nearest refineries in Pittsburgh.12 But as railroads began to extend from new boomtowns of the oil regions to cities such as Cleveland, Rockefeller recognized the opportunity for economic success and immediately began to monopolize oil refining. 

Rockefeller’s understanding of economics of scale immediately gave him advantages over other Cleveland refineries. 
Because three independent railroad lines ran from Cleveland to the oil regions, the rail lines were quick to cater to a customer shipping such a large amount of oil that it would give that transporter an advantage over the others.13 Rockefeller expanded and integrated both vertically and horizontally to earn these privileges. Out of sheer thriftiness, he took over other components of oil processing. For example, he established a barrel factory so he would not have to pay someone else to make them. Rockefeller found ways to utilize and make money from byproducts of refining that his competitors discarded.14 This “shrewd and frugal”15 vertical integration allowed Rockefeller to expand sufficiently that railroads began to favor his vast shipments. 

Rockefeller organized himself with several other Cleveland refining tycoons to form the South Improvement Company, leaving the railroad companies no choice but to grant rebates and drawbacks “on the basis of the large amount of oil [they] shipped eastward.” The deal granted two advantages—rebates and drawbacks—in shipping both from northwest Pennsylvania to Cleveland, and from Cleveland to New York. Under the rebate system, the South Improvement Company received a specified price reduction per barrel shipped.16 Under the drawback system, they received a portion of each fare their competitors paid. Transit represented such a large segment of total expenses that the South Improvement Company held invaluable advantage over small-time competitors. Essentially, “if you were powerful enough to demand drawbacks, your competitor, in practical terms, had no chance to survive.”17 Once he had provided Standard Oil with a base in Cleveland covering many aspects of refining and a strong advantage over competitors in shipping rates, Rockefeller was positioned to dominate oil refining. 

In the spirit of late 19th century’s rampant capitalism, Rockefeller became an expert at using technically legal means to squelch what remained of his competition: spies, special rates, threatening railroads into disclosing information about his competitors.18 Employing spies, Rockefeller could easily drive competition out of a territory and then choose any rate or price he desired.19 With refineries that appeared independent, but were secretly owned by Standard Oil, Rockefeller drove down prices so much that competitors had no choice but to sell to him.20 “When 21 of the 26 firms [other Cleveland refiners] sold out to Rockefeller, he controlled one-fifth of the nation’s oil refining,”21 a firm hold on the Pennsylvania oil industry. 

The ethics or even legality of this takeover, however, were contestable. Rockefeller himself argued that his competition had failed on its own and that he was helping them by being so benevolent as to take over.22 He was so repulsed by rampant overproduction in the oil industry that he decided to make the industry more efficient by taking charge under his 1870s strategy dubbed “Our Plan.”23 To achieve this, however, other refiners— even Rockefeller’s own brother—lost their right to compete in the oil refining industry. But the railroads, subsidized by the government, were theoretically ‘public carriers,’ and thus at some level were required to provide equal service to all. The economic ‘advantage’ of rebates and drawbacks “was used as a club over the heads of other refiners in Cleveland, forcing them to ‘sell or perish.’ His competitors wanted to keep their own businesses, Ida [Tarbell later] said, but ‘Mr. Rockefeller was regretful but firm. It was useless to resist, he told the hesitating; they would certainly be crushed if they did not accept his offer.’”24 Ironically, many of the bought-out refiners nevertheless grew rich because they had accepted Standard Oil stock in return for their depleted refineries.25 

But Cleveland refiners were not the only victims of the Standard Oil takeover. Independent oil producers involved in each step of the industry were pushed out of business as Rockefeller took over. Overproduction was the most destructive problem of the early oil industry: in one year as thousands rushed into the oil regions, prices fell from $10 a barrel to just 10 cents a barrel.26 So although reducing competition may have helped to stabilize prices, there wasn’t enough room in an organized industry for all of the previous fortune-seekers. Some occupations simply became obsolete. For example, “teamsters,” who drove oil wagons on rugged paths where no railroads existed, were quickly replaced by pipelines leading to the railroads.27 
Once Standard Oil had seized control of Cleveland refining, Rockefeller formed a national Refiners’ Association increasing the scale of his operations to coerce producers into selling to him at the prices he chose. In response, a Producer’s Association formed to protect the interests of Pennsylvania producers by attacking rampant overproduction that dramatically reduced the price of their product. The two associations entered into a contract under which the producers were committed to sell to Rockefeller, but at the profitable price of $3 and 25 cents a barrel. But after one-fourth of the oil promised in the contract had been sold, the refiners broke the contract, under the accusation that continuing overproduction had made cheaper oil available elsewhere.28 

One of the principle leaders of this producers’ movement was Franklin Tarbell, a joiner who had taken advantage of the sudden, immense demand for containers by producing barrels, then wooden tanks, to hold huge amounts of crude oil. Tarbell moved from an Erie County farm to an oil town called Rouseville and later to Titusville to participate in the oil boom. He profited well from his innovative wooden tanks, fulfilling the huge demand for convenient oil storage.29 He eventually built a home for his family—his wife, his daughter Ida, and her two siblings—by dismantling and relocating a fancy hotel from Pithole, an oil town that had emerged, flourished, and died in the space of two years in the 1860s. 

Born November 5, 1857, Ida Tarbell grew up in the heart of the Pennsylvania oil boom. She witnessed the instabilities of the Pennsylvania oil boom from the beginning of her life and from the beginning of the oil industry. When Ida was three years old, Franklin Tarbell moved his family to Rouseville, a dirty, rowdy boomtown bustling in the first years of petroleum.30 With a critical eye, Tarbell witnessed her father leading the petroleum producers’ union31 and boycotting the South Improvement Company in attempt to keep their independent businesses,32 even as Rockefeller insisted his monopolization was legal.33 As Tarbell grew up in Rouseville and later in Titusville, she witnessed the destruction of many of her father’s colleagues by the acts of Standard Oil,34 which “burst forth and raged fiercest and hottest” during her childhood.35 

Tarbell’s proximity to the effects of Standard Oil’s monopolization enmeshed her in the conflict. Elbert Hubbard, a 
harsh critic of Tarbell, describes Ida as “an honest, bitter, talented, and prejudiced person who wrote from her own point of view, and that view is from the ditch, where her father’s wheelbarrow was landed by a Standard Oil tank-wagon.”36 Yet this firsthand experience also allowed Tarbell to view the “independent oil producers, who gambled their lives and money in an uncertain new industry” as the heroes of the industry.37 Tarbell’s range of personal experience is inseparable from her work.38 As a result, her writing is always somewhat subjective,39 but this personal experience also gives her an exclusive ability to report on Standard Oil from firsthand experience. 

Ida Tarbell did not intend to be a writer. The only female in her class at Allegheny College, she dreamed of being a biologist. Tarbell also resolved never to wed, following the suffragette movement of the day determining that marriage meant being cut off from a career.40 Instead, she returned to Titusville after graduating college to tend to her ill mother. Searching for interesting employment, Tarbell began to write for the Chautauquan magazine. She soon left for France, where she supported herself by writing.41 

While living in France, Tarbell lent $40 to S.S. McClure so that he could establish a magazine in his own name; just two years later, in 1894, she joined the staff of McClure’s Magazine.42 Immediately, Ida’s scrupulous research attracted large audiences. Her biographies of Napoleon and Lincoln dramatically increased McClure’s circulation, so that by the turn of the century it had 350,000 subscriptions, the second largest of any magazine.43 When asked how she could find news breaking information yet unpublished about these famous figures, she declared her motto: “I just did it by work...I proceed on a theory that there is nothing about which everything has been done and said.”44 At a McClure’s Magazine editorial meeting in the late 18th century, the staff considered how to report on Standard Oil as a monopoly; Ida Tarbell jumped at the chance to record the trust’s history.45 

Ida Tarbell’s History of the Standard Oil Company won immediate attention from all sides for its innovative research methods, sheer daring, and new perspective on the rights of corporations. Running in McClure’s Magazine from November 1902 to April 1904, the serial, also published in book form in 1904, “enthralled thousands of Americans. Safe within their Victorian mansions, well-bred ladies shuddered at the audacity of one of their sex who had the spunk to describe the legendary Rockefeller as cold, ruthless, unethical.”46 

Seeking to expose the illegal practices of Standard Oil, Tarbell would not settle for typical research methods of the day. Instead she interviewed dozens of Standard Oil employees.47 Tarbell visited Standard Oil headquarters in meetings with a representative of Standard Oil, Henry Rogers.48 She even visited Rockefeller’s Baptist church, which he continued to serve piously throughout his moneymaking schemes.49 In the course of her research, Tarbell scrutinized 300 testimonies, each approaching 1,000 pages of text.50 So persistent was she that, at the start of her research, acquaintances avoided her, thinking she was either a Standard Oil spy or about to be crushed by the mighty hand of John D. Rockefeller.51 Still, Tarbell pursued Standard Oil, having resolved to expose their practices. 

The purpose of Tarbell’s series was to show through careful study “how Standard Oil conducted its business.”52 She began by revealing the beginnings of the oil industry and how oil came to be in such great demand. Tarbell then described how Rockefeller first began to receive special rates from the railroads. She demonstrated how Rockefeller used independent oil producers such as her father to further advance in the industry. Finally, she detailed the consolidation of Standard Oil as a monopoly.53 
Tarbell consistently underscored the innocence of the oil producers. She described the South Improvement Company’s first grip on the oil regions, and the producers’ philosophy: the railroad “had agreed to give to a company unheard of until now— the South Improvement Company—a special rate considerably lower than the new open rate. It was only a rumour and many people discredited it. Why should the railroads ruin the Oil Regions to build up a company of outsiders?”54 Tarbell spoke of these noble victims: “They believed in independent effort—every man for himself and fair play for all. They wanted competition, loved an open fight. They considered that all business should be done openly; that the railroads were bound as public carriers to give equal rates; that any combination which favoured one firm or one locality at the expense of another was unjust and illegal.”55 Through these assertions, Tarbell emphasized that the South Improvement Company taking over these independent producers was unjust: all that the workers wanted was a fair battle, but Rockefeller refused them that one courtesy. 
Tarbell was also able to detail life in the Oil Regions during the first booms. She wrote, “If oil was found, if the well flowed, every tree, every shrub, every bit of grass in the vicinity was coated with black grease and left to die. Tar and oil stained everything. If the well was a dry, a rickety derrick, piles of debris, and oily holes were left, for nobody ever cleaned up in those days.”56 Almost through a metaphor, Tarbell exposes the destruction of the oil boom: just as Standard Oil wrecked the lives of the Pennsylvania oil producers, so too the oil itself penetrated daily existence. 

Although within the bounds of fact, Tarbell did set a tone and opinion for her series: she firmly believed that Standard Oil’s reduction of competition dramatically raised the price of oil and was thus a crime to the consumer.57 She forthrightly accused Standard Oil of illegal spying.58 She detailed all of Rockefeller’s thrifty and moral habits, but then declared, “yet he was willing to strain every nerve to obtain for himself special and unjust privileges from the railroads which were bound to ruin every man in the oil business not sharing with him.”59 Tarbell was as ruthless in accusing Standard Oil as she was scrupulous in her research. 

The true significance of Tarbell’s methods is evident only when viewed in the context of her times. In an era when
sensationalist journalism ruled as newspapers scrambled to increase subscriptions, Tarbell’s work “is characterized by absolute accuracy of statement. To get the facts she expend[ed] time, money, and energy without stint.”60 While her contemporaries such as Elbert Hubbard wrote invented conversations of celebrities in subjective terms, Tarbell researched tirelessly. 

Revolutionary in her methods—in that she was a woman engaging herself in direct attack on the world’s first billionaire— Tarbell’s clash with Rockefeller marked an important departure from the Gilded Age’s pure capitalism to the Progressive Era. “In writing about Standard Oil, Tarbell was signaling that the needs and practices of big business no longer were superior to the needs of the people.”61 She exalted those who tried and failed to gain riches by being part of the oil industry and marked as an enemy Rockefeller, who succeeded in gaining riches by manipulating the oil industries. And just as did Joseph Riis’s How the Other Half Lives in the same period, History of the Standard Oil Company “fired the indignation of middle-aged and middle-class citizens caught up in the rebellious mood of Progressivism. Politicians from statehouse legislators to Teddy Roosevelt at the White House took note of the furor. Its echoes eventually penetrated even the remote chambers of the Supreme Court.”62 

Yet Rockefeller himself seemed uninterested in responding to Tarbell’s attacks. Elbert Hubbard, an admirer of Rockefeller, describes Standard Oil’s silence: “Up to this time, or until very recently, The Standard Oil Company has declined to answer its assailants. Its managers have been so busy doing things that they have had no time to shake the red rag of wordy warfare.”63 Others weren’t so kind to Rockefeller. Newspapers across the country carried reviews of Tarbell’s works, and opinions on the legitimacy of Tarbell’s arguments. Eventually, even Hubbard admitted, Standard Oil’s “silence has been construed into a plea of guilt.”64 

Finally, “smarting under the attacks made upon the Standard Oil Company by Ida M. Tarbell in McClure’s magazine [sic],” Rockefeller commissioned another history of Standard Oil, The Rise and Progress of Standard Oil.65 Largely a ‘justification’ for each small action of Standard Oil, the book places much of the blame for advantages of rail rebates on the railroads themselves for being somewhat disorganized in early days of operation.66 In placing blame, this book of praise for Rockefeller also denies that rebates and drawbacks were any great advantage: its author asserted that “certain conservative writers think it was largely the result of discriminations in freight rates, extorted by more or less questionable practices of the railroads” but the true advantage came from Standard Oil’s ability to use these rebates to its advantage.67 

But as one newspaper of the day noted, The Rise and Progress of the Standard Oil Company “will hardly have as many readers as Miss Tarbell’s articles on the other side in McClure’s magazine [sic].”68 Popular media began to overflow with information on the book, generally noting how the publication was further evidence of Rockefeller’s guilt: he deliberately gave a free copy to thousands of religious leaders across the United States. Instead of the response he had hoped for by never mentioning Tarbell in the work, the headlines raged with statements such as “John D. Rockefeller has at last been stung into defense of his business methods.”69 

Defense of Rockefeller fell to numerous outside sources who believed Tarbell’s allegations against him were illegitimate. Many critics of Tarbell focus on her own entanglement with the independent oil producers: how could she not fight for independent oil producers when she was the child of an independent oil producer and had grown up in the Pennsylvania oil-producing region? One article in the Oil City Derrick, the newspaper of another Pennsylvania oil boom town, charges that Tarbell was simply complaining that her father could not achieve the great wealth of Rockefeller.70 

Many critics attacked the same research habits that made Tarbell so popular. Theodore Roosevelt, President during the publication of History of the Standard Oil Company, dubbed the first investigative journalists “muckrakers” for he “did not like the discontent he saw them effecting.”71 Tarbell was at the forefront of the movement to expose society’s underlying ills, believing they could be ameliorated if the public knew of their existence. Brady states: 
With like-minded people, Tarbell joined a larger stream that was to be known as the Progressive Movement. Confident of their moral values and the perfectibility of the world, Progressives pointed out what needed to be changed, and fully believed in the fundamental rightness of things as they had been when the individual entrepreneur and the farmer were America’s kings.72 

In Ida Tarbell’s case, her own attitudes towards issues of the day were less important than the attitudes she incited in others. Although she ended up somewhat admiring of Standard Oil’s economic prowess,73 she ignited the whole nation to lash out against trusts such as Standard Oil. Ultimately, the anger that Tarbell inspired led to investigations of Standard Oil’s practices and the forced fragmentation of Standard Oil’s monopoly. 
Standard Oil’s technically illegal actions and monopoly of the oil industry and the flawed transit system were immediate targets of public anger. Although the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 outlawed monopolies such as Standard Oil’s, this law was rarely invoked at Tarbell’s time because it was unclear what defined a trust under the law. Spurred on by Tarbell’s work, the public turned their concerns into action by demanding that the government limit the rights of trusts. For example, an article in the Topeka Capital immediately revealed public reaction to Tarbell’s allegations against Standard Oil: “Miss Ida M. Tarbell’s serial in McClure’s [sic]...has vivisected the Standard Oil monopoly, exposed its innards, elucidated its system and left nobody in doubt that this corporation has been the most successful and conscienceless blood-sucker the world has yet met up with.” The nation seethed with anger that Rockefeller may have lied in court74 or created a “conspiracy against legitimate industrial efforts.”75 One reader called the history ‘the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of today,’76 emphasizing that the public considered Rockefeller a slaver of the innocent working class. The reaction against Standard Oil’s monopoly eventually reached the Supreme Court with the Standard Oil Co. v. United States case of 1911, which determined that Standard Oil’s monopoly had to be divided. Although Standard Oil was never significantly divided, to the chagrin of Tarbell’s supporters, Tarbell herself insisted that the United States had still made progress in eliminating monopolies such as Standard Oil. As a result, the public recognized that independent oil producers deserved a chance to succeed in the new oil industry.77 

From Tarbell’s History of the Standard Oil Company and the public’s response to her work, direct investigations of Standard Oil were undertaken by the government. Because of Ida Tarbell and Progressives like her, rights of private corporations were modified by the rights of the general public to know the practices of such a powerful company and to stand a chance in competing against it. 

In a representative example of America’s reaction to her work, “a reluctant Ida” became the hero of Kansas wildcatters struggling to oust Standard Oil.78 By the early 20th century, oil recently discovered in Kansas had become Standard Oil’s next target to overtake. But “populists, women’s clubs, and independent oilmen”79 were so opposed to the takeover that they banded together to attempt to organize a state-owned refinery. When Tarbell toured Kansas on a sightseeing trip of the new oil regions, the public “serenaded her while she sat talking with a newspaper editor,” begged for speeches,80 and in general treated her as a “prophet.”81 

But ironically the original muckraker of Standard Oil wanted little to do with these warriors against high oil prices. As she was dragged to the front of the Kansas oil battles Tarbell commented: “But here I was—fifty, fagged, and wanting to be let alone while I collected trustworthy information for my articles—dragged to the front as an apostle.”82 She even issued advice to the Kansans to work on their own oil production rather than focusing on Rockefeller’s, so much so that some of her supporters began to accuse “You have gone over to the Standard!”83 

But despite Tarbell’s mixed devotion to the Standard Oil Cause, the Kansas movement inspired by her work precipitated a great public response. Urged on by Kansas oilmen’s accusations, the United States government’s Bureau of Corporations commissioned an investigation of Standard Oil that sought to reveal whether practices really did have a significant adverse effect on its competition and consumers. The exhaustive report determined that Standard Oil was keeping oil prices “artificially high at the expense of the consumer” and called for “prosecution of the Standard under the Sherman Antitrust Act.”84 As the leader of the investigation Herbert Knox Smith reported in a personal letter, “They [Standard Oil] have broken in our honor their historic policy of silence and have finally issued a beautiful statement for their stockholders made up almost entirely of newspaper clippings, and an address on the general importance of my character and capacity which I regret to say seems to strike them as unsatisfactory.”85 

The public outrage Tarbell’s work effected suddenly created legal trouble for Standard Oil. Under new progressive acts of the courts, such as the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Elkins Act of 1903, Standard Oil was charged in 21 antitrust suits from 1904 to 1906.86 The 1907 ruling that Standard Oil held a monopoly because of its use of public transportation87 marked the call for a major restructuring of the American railroad system. It became clear that such monopolies would never cease to dominate until railroads became true public carriers.88 

Suddenly, the fact that Rockefeller’s status was “the natural result of a commercial struggle for existence”89 seemed irrelevant when it became clear that other competitors had been unfairly ousted from the industry in the process. The social Darwinism that had led thousands of independent oil producers to vie for a part in the industry gave way to a new morality that these oilmen had a right as Americans to compete in the new industry. 

Despite these resounding ramifications of her work in advancing Progressive ideals of government regulation of commerce, it remains unclear whether Tarbell herself was a progressive. Tarbell long admired the success of Standard Oil, acknowledging the greatness that existed along with illegal trust building. Near the end of her life, Tarbell’s view of Standard Oil became more nuanced as she spoke out against women’s suffrage. But the true message of Ida Tarbell’s encounters with Standard Oil is that the History of the Standard Oil Company advanced the Progressive movement beyond Tarbell’s original intention and personal beliefs. Even today, more than a century after the serial first hit the pages of McClure’s magazine, the monopoly, or even the large and wealthy company, is viewed with distinct disdain and wariness by much of the general public. Ida Tarbell’s conflict with Standard Oil has irrevocably impacted our world by alerting the public to the dangers of such corporations and the benfits of effecting legal action in response. 
1 Kathleen Brady, Ida Tarbell: Portrait of a Muckraker (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989) p. 157
2 Brian Black, Petrolia: The Landscape of America’s First Oil Boom (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) p. 20
3 Hildegarde Dolson, “Sitting on a Gusher: How Gullible Edwin L. Drake, an Ailing Ex-Railroad Conductor, Brought about America’s First and Gaudiest Oil Boom,” American Heritage (February 1959) pp. 65-78, 68
4 Black, p. 44
5 Ibid., pp. 51-52
6 Virginia Van Der Veer Hamilton, “The Gentlewoman and the Robber Baron,” American Heritage (April 1970) pp. 78 -86, 80
7 William Crane, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power by Daniel Yergin (PBS, [1994]) videorecording
8 Hamilton, p. 80
9 Crane
10 Hamilton, p. 80
11 Oil! The Power of Pennsylvania Petroleum (Commonwealth Media Services, 1998) videorecording
12 Ibid.
13 Crane
14 Hamilton, p. 80
15 Ibid., p. 80
16 Ibid., p. 81
17 Crane
18 Ibid.
19 Hamilton, p. 82
20 Crane
21 Hamilton, p. 81
22 Ibid., p. 81
23 Crane
24 Hamilton, p. 81
25 Crane
26 Ibid.
27 Oil! The Power of Pennsylvania Petroleum
28 Hamilton, p. 82
29 Susan Beates and Margaret Mong, interview by author, personal interview, Titusville, Pennsylvania, 9 March 2006
30 Brady, p. 12
31 Crane
32 Hamilton, p. 81
33 Crane
34 Beates and Mong, interview
35 Elizabeth Lee, “Ida...” Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville Pennsylvania, Folder T-154b, p. 10
36 Elbert Hubbard, The Standard Oil Company (East Aurora, New York: Roycrafters, 1910) p. 14
37 Hamilton, p. 80
38 Hubbard, p. 14
39 Beates and Mong, interview
40 Hamilton, p. 80
41 Lee
42 Hamilton, p. 79
43 Ibid., p. 79
44 Lee
45 Ibid.
46 Hamilton, p. 79
47 Beates and Mong, interview
48 Hamilton, p. 78
49 Crane
50 Lee
51 Crane
52 Robert C. Kochersberger, Jr., ed., More Than a Muckraker: Ida Tarbell’s Lifetime in Journalism (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1994) p. xxv
53 Ida M. Tarbell, The History of the Standard Oil Company (New York, Macmillan, 1937) pp. xv-xxiii
54 Ibid., p. 70
55 Ibid., p. 101
56 Black, p. 56
57 [“Effects of Price Control”], New Haven Register Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania. Folder T- I 54b, p. 18
58 Hamilton, p. 82
59 Ibid., pp. 81-82
60 Lee
61 Kochersberger, p. xxv
62 Hamilton, p. 78
63 Hubbard, p. 13
64 Ibid., p. 13
65 “John D. Rockefeller Becomes Angry at His Woman Critic: Resents Attacks Made by Miss Tarbell and Circulates Work Which Commends His Policy,” Topeka Capital Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T- I 54b, p. 5
66 “John D. Rockefeller Angry at Critic: Causes Reply to be Published to Attack by Woman on Standard’s Methods,” Milwaukee Journal Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T- I 54b, p. 3
67 Gilbert Holland Montague, The Rise and Progress of the Standard Oil Company (New York: Harper, 1902) pp. 1-2
68 [“Review of The Rise and Progress of Standard Oil Company”], Terre Houte Tribune Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-154b, p. 9
69 “John D. Rockefeller Angry At Critic: Causes Reply to be Published to Attack by Woman on Standard’s Methods”
70 [“Cry of Taint”], Oil City Derrick Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-198
71 Brady, p. 140
72 Ibid., p. 140
73 Beates and Mong, interview
74 “More Trust Revelation,” Topeka Capital, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-154b, p. 9
75 “A Story of Monopoly’s Course,” Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-154b, p. 9
76 Hamilton, p. 83
77 “The Dissolution of the Trust,” Topeka Herald, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-154b, p. 9
78 Hamilton, p. 84
79 Ibid., p. 84
80 Brady, p. 156
81 Hamilton, p. 84
82 Brady, p. 157
83 Ibid., p. 156
84 Hamilton, p. 84
85 Herbert Knox Smith, Letter to Rankin Johnson, 4 September 1907, Rankin Johnson Collection, University of Pittsburgh Archives, Pittsburgh
86 Hamilton, p. 85
87 Louis Filler, The Muckrakers (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976)
88 “Books and Book-Makers: Ida Tarbell’s History of the Standard Oil Company,” The Bulletin: San Francisco, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-154b, p. 21
89 Hubbard, p. 9

Beates, Susan, and Margaret Mong, Personal Interview, March 9, 2006
Black, Brian, Petrolia: The Landscape of America’s First Oil Boom Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2000
“Books and Book-Makers: Ida Tarbell’s History of the Standard Oil Company,” The Bulletin: San Francisco Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania. Folder T-154b, p. 21

Brady, Kathleen, Ida Tarbell: Portrait of a Muckraker Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989

Butterworth, W. E., Black Gold—The Story of Oil New York: Four Winds Press, 1975

[“Cry of Taint”], Oil City Derrick Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-198
“The Dissolution of the Trust,” Topeka Herald Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-1 54b, p. 9
Dolson, Hildegarde, “Sitting on a Gusher: How Gullible Edwin L. Drake, an Ailing Ex-Railroad Conductor, Brought about America’s First and Gaudiest Oil Boom,” American Heritage February 1959, pp. 65-78
[“Effects of price control”], New Haven Register Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T- I 54b, p. 18

Filler, Louis, The Muckrakers University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976
Hamilton, Virginia Van Der Veer, “The Gentlewoman and the Robber Baron,” American Heritage April 1970, pp. 78-86

Hubbard, Elbert, The Standard Oil Company East Aurora, New York: Roycrafters, 1910
“John D. Angry at Critic: Causes Reply to be Published to Attack by Woman on Standard’s Methods,” Milwaukee Journal Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-154b, p. 3

“John D. Rockefeller Becomes Angry at His Woman Critic: Resents Attacks Made by Miss Tarbell and Circulates Work Which Commends His Policy,” Topeka Capital Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, PA, Folder T-154b, p. 5
Kochersberger, Robert C. Jr., ed., More Than a Muckraker: Ida Tarbell’s Lifetime in Journalism Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1994
Lee, Elizabeth, “Ida...” Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T- I 54b, p. 10

Montague, Gilbert Holland, The Rise and Progress of the Standard Oil Company New York: Harper, 1902
“More Trust Revelation,” Topeka Capital Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T-154b, p. 9

Oil! The Power of Pennsylvania Petroleum Commonwealth Media Services, 1998, Videorecording Crane, William, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power by Daniel Yergin (PBS, [1994]) Videorecording
[“Review of The Rise and Progress of the Standard Oil Company”], Terre Houte Tribune Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T- I 54b, p. 9
Smith, Herbert Knox, Letter to Rankin Johnson, 4 Sept. 1907, Rankin Johnson Collection, University of Pittsburgh Archives, Pittsburgh

“A Story of Monopoly’s Course,” Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Drake Well Museum Collection, Titusville, Pennsylvania, Folder T- I 54b, p. 12
Tarbell, Ida M., The History of the Standard Oil Company New York: Macmillan, 1937

Winkler, John K., John D.: A Portrait in Oils New York: Vanguard, 1929