John D. Rockefeller First Million

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American Business Culture John D. Rockefeller

29 / 09 / 2010


John D. Rockefeller. “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.”

John Davison Rockefeller Rockefeller was the second of six children born in Richford, in a small farm in the west of New York. His father, William Avery Rockefeller was first a lumberman, then a traveling salesman. Eliza, a homemaker and devout Baptist, struggled to maintain a semblance of stability at home. Since he was young, John D. Rockefeller evidenced his talent for the finance. He sold colored and rare formed stones to his schoolmates; he saved his small income in a blue vase, his first safe-deposit box. It didn´t pass a long time meet with the beautiful sum of $50, would determine the future orientation of boy. As an example, a farmer in the surrounding area needed precisely that amount to an urgent debt. John provided him... But with an interest rate of 7%! After a year, discovered struck that its capital given on loan returning to their pocket with 31/2 dollars of interest. From that date, wrote later "decided to make work to the money in my place". In 1853 the Rockefellers moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and John attended high school from 1853 to 1855. He was very good at math and was on the debating team. The school encouraged public speaking and even though Rockefeller was only average, it was a skill that would prove too useful to him. In the spring of 1855 Rockefeller spent 10 weeks at Folsom’s Commercial College (a "chain College" ) where he learned single and double-entry bookkeeping, penmanship, commercial history, mercantile customs, banking and exchange. From his father he had learned how to draw up notes and other business papers. His father was very meticulous in matters of business and believed in the sacredness of contracts. In August of 1855 at the age of 16 Rockefeller began looking for work in Cleveland as a bookkeeper or clerk. Business was bad in Cleveland at the time and Rockefeller had problems finding a job. He was always neatly dressed in a dark suit and black tie. Cleveland was not a large city in 1855 and Rockefeller could easily visit every business in under a week’s time. He returned to many businesses three times. Finally, on September 26, 1855, he got a job as an assistant bookkeeper with Hewitt & Tuttle, commission merchants and produce shippers.

By 1858 Rockefeller had more responsibilities at Hewitt & Tuttle. He arranged complicated transportation deals that typically involved moving a single shipment of freight by railroad, canal, and lake boats. He began to engage in trading ventures on his own account. He was naturally cautious and only undertook a business venture when he calculated that it would be successful. He had iron nerves and would carry through very complicated deals without

hesitation. This combination of caution, precision, and resolve soon brought him attention and respect in the broader business community in Cleveland From the beginning, he donated about 6% of his earnings to charity, which increased to 10% by the age of twenty, when he tithed to his Baptist church. Discipline, order and a record faithful in bookkeeping was since then the code of his life. The third year already earned $600 per year but when denied an increase of 200-dollars, decided to move to his own business. He had saved $800, but still lacked other 1000 to embark on its own brokerage. His father was ahead with an annual interest rate of 10 per cent, until it reached the majority age. Rockefeller formed a partnership in the commission business with another young man, Maurice B. Clark, they founded Clark & Rockefeller. Te commission business was about shipping food in big scale. Here we can see a robber baron´s common characteristic which is they always make businesses with essential goods for the human being. In this case we are talking about food,...
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