US History Chapt. 4

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late 1880s

a time of invention + advances in technology. these things, along with railroad expansion + new business practices launced an age of industry

- it was run by workers due to poor pay + working conditions - they did this in an attempt to improve their lives
railroad track
- 193,000 miles of this had been laid in the US by 1900 - 11 miles of this were laid each day (average)
the practice of combining companies into one ex: large railroad companies bought smaller companies or drove them out of business - it made companies more efficient because they would be able to go to work w/ fewer resources + they could set prices + processes
railroad baron
powerful business leader who controlled a major railroad
Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • one of the first railroad barons

  • his railroad empire stretched from New York City to the Great Lakes

James J. Hill
a railroad baron who built the Great Northern line between Minnesota + Washington
Central Pacific
- a railroad founded by barons, Collis P. Huntington + Leland Stanford - this line connected California + Utah + formed part of the first transcontinental railroad
  • carried raw materials: iron, ore coal, + timber to factories

  • moved manufactured goods from factories to markets

  • shipped crops from farming areas to cities


has a stronger impact than iron, so they started using this for railroads

industries helped by railroads

iron, steel, lumber, coal - iron + steel were used for railraod truck - lumber industry supplied for the railroad ties - coal industry provides fuel
tracks with distances be us

standard gauge

tracks w/ 4 feet, 8.5 inch distance

having one same gauge drove down shipping times + costs

technology for railraods

air brakes, Janney cars, refrigerated railroad cars, + Pullman sleeping cas

George Westinghouse

who invented the air brakes to safely stop trains

Eli H. Janney

who invented Janney car couplers for railroad workers to link cars

Gustavus Swift

who invented refrigerated railroad cars to ship meat + crops

Gearge pullman

who invented the Pullman sleeping car, a luxurious railway car that turned into beds for overnight journeys


a discount or return of part of a payment


  • formed by railroad barons