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19 - Why Can You Have Any Car as Long as It Is Black?

The Rise of American Industry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2022

Johan Fourie
Affiliation:
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
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Summary

After one year, Henry Clay Frick quit the university he was attending and, with two cousins and a friend, founded the Frick Coke Company. The plan was simple. Using a beehive oven, they would turn coal into coke fuel. Coke is an important ingredient in making steel.

Henry’s father had been a farmer and an unsuccessful businessman in Pennsylvania, and Henry vowed that his life would be different. Soon after establishing the Frick Coke Company, however, disaster struck – and it seemed that Henry would follow in his father’s footsteps. A financial crisis in 1873 had reduced the price of coke to 90 cents per ton and Henry’s business partners wanted out. But Henry chose to stay on, wrote a letter to an old family friend, Andrew Mellon, and received a loan of $10,000. For him, depressions were times of expansion; with his new loan he bought out his partners and acquired several coal mines from timid competitors at very low prices.

Type
Chapter
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Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom
Lessons from 100,000 Years of Human History
, pp. 109 - 113
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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