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A portrait of Milton S. Hershey c. 1910
He was born on September 13th, 1857 which was just a few years before the start of the American Civil War. 

Despite not continuing formal education beyond elementary school, Hershey went on to become one of the greatest American success stories.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Henry Ford when he was about 25 years old in 1888

via Alamy
A photo of Andrew Carnegie dated October 19th, 1912 when he was in his late 70s.

In the early 1900s Andrew Carnegie funded nearly 1,700 libraries in various cities and towns throughout the United States.

Image via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
American railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest men in American history, controlled 13 railroad companies with lines that covered a vast area between New York and Chicago by the 1870s.

Did you know that he didn’t continue formal schooling beyond the age of 11?

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee is named in his honor.

Image: Cornelius Vanderbilt in the 1860s via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"I believe the power to make money is a gift of God … to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind.”

- John D. Rockefeller 

Image: John D. Rockefeller via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
“The first thing is character...before money or anything else. Money cannot buy it.… A man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom. I think that is the fundamental basis of business.”

- J.P. Morgan who was born on today’s date April 17th, 1837 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Tomorrow will be better for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life.”

- Walt Disney

Quote from 1941 via Wikisource 
Image from 1938 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Henry Ford (passenger on the right) in a Ford Model N

c. 1906

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Walt Disney shows a drawing of Mickey Mouse to an attentive feline 

- 1931

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"I think no book is more stimulating than the history of a devoted and successful life.”

- Philadelphia born Frederick Winslow Taylor who advanced industry and manufacturing in America through his innovative management and engineering practices 

Image: Frederick Taylor via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Henry Ford fishing next to Thomas Edison and others c. 1921 

About 22 years earlier on August 15th, 1899 Ford ended his career at the Edison Illuminating company to concentrate on his motor car operations. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
William H. Russell, one of the three founders of the parent company of The Pony Express

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On December 7th, 1863 co-founder of Sears, Roebuck & Company, Richard W. Sears was born in Stewartville, Minnesota.

Image: Sears at his desk in 1906 from Richard from USA CC BY SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
On today's date April 14th, 1902: James Cash Penney became an owner of a new Golden Rule Store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. A few years later the store moved to an adjacent corner building for expansion. In 1913, it became the very first J.C. Penney store.

Photo: James Cash Penney circa 1902 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Henry Ford standing next to a Model T in Buffalo, New York

- 1921 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Charles Scribner who founded the famous publishing company that is currently using the same name was born on February 21st, 1821 in New York City. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
George Eastman with Kodak #2 Camera on the S.S. Gallia 

- 1890

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Barnum & Bailey "Greatest Show on Earth” poster 

- 1897

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
High school yearbook photo of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart 

As a boy he delivered milk to households and had a newspaper route 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Howard Hughes dancing with Ginger Rogers at the Rainbow Room in New York City ⠀
- 1936 ⠀
via Alamy
An image titled “Congress Hall Piazza, Com. Vanderbilt” taken in Saratoga Springs, New York during the mid to late 19th Century.

Heartfelt Historians can you help us identify if Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt may be among the gentlemen in this stereograph?  

There is historical evidence that Cornelius visited Saratoga Springs.

If so, could he be the man seated with light colored top hat, legs crossed holding a cane, mid picture surrounded by an entourage?
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon on his 70th birthday, taken on March 24th, 1925.

During his lifetime, Mellon donated millions of dollars to his alma mater the University of Pittsburgh.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On today’s date January 25th, 1783 William Colgate, who founded the well known personal hygiene product company, was born in Hollingbourne, Kent, England.
His family would later move to America and settle in Maryland...

“William Colgate attended one of the best 
schools in Baltimore for the first two years of his life in America. This training, added to the discipline of his boyhood in England, completed his school education. At the age of fifteen he entered upon the earnest work of life. At seventeen he in a humble way, with scarcely any capital or credit, engaged in the soap-and-candle business in Baltimore. At that time manufacturers were greatly needed in all the growing cities of the New World. 

By a kind of instinct of great possibilities, and 
the inspiration of great purposes, and perhaps to escape embarrassing associations with the business misfortunes of the family in Baltimore, young Colgate decided to make the metropolis of the country his home and place of business. In 1804, at the age of eighteen, he came, first to Mamaroneck, and, after a brief sojourn there, to New York City, and there began, with neither money, credit, nor friends, his illustrious business career. 

The secret of his success is disclosed in the principles which governed him. He determined first to master in all its methods and appliances the business he had chosen. 

Almost immediately upon his arrival in New 
York, early one morning he applied at the counting-room of John Slidel & Co., then the largest tallow-chandlers in the city, located at 50 Broadway. There was no vacancy in the establishment, but Mr. Slidel, struck with the open, honest face of the applicant, offered him a place as assistant clerk. 

The young Englishman thanked him for his 
kind proposal, but most respectfully declined it, remarking, "I desire, sir, to learn the business. I wish to work to earn a living for myself. Any one can assist a clerk, but I wish to know how to work." 

There is the secret of success in the great competitions of business, for the skilled workman naturally acquires control. In old-established houses on both sides of the sea it is more and more felt that only through the discipline of the apprentice and the skilled journeyman can one safely assume the direction of a great manufacturing of commercial house. Capital without skill can never keep pace with capital supplemented by skill. For lack of this combination hundreds of adventurous business-houses have failed. 

Mr. Slidel was so much pleased with the frankness of young Colgate, and his ambition to master a business, that he called his foreman and said, “Give this young man work; show him everything about the business. He will be of great service to you." 

The salary proposed was small, but it was the 
business he sought, and in a short time he became an expert in it. He was transferred from the manufacturing to the sales department, and soon grasped its commercial methods, so that at the end of three years, when the firm was changed, William Colgate became its principal business manager. In 1806, at the age of twenty-three, he started in the chandlery business in Dutch Street...”

From: William Colgate: The Christian layman
by William Wallace Evert, published in 1881 via Library of Congress, no known restrictions

Image: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Deacon William Colgate" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 25, 2019.
James Lick was born in a small town in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania on August 25th, 1796.

A son of a carpenter, James Lick’s life may have seemed simple growing up in a rural town, but his fortunes would drastically change. Later after moving to Maryland, he became highly skilled in crafting pianos.
Lick’s pianos were sold in New York City and South America.

Lick’s "luck” (😉) got even better as he found his way to California just before the Gold Rush.
He invested in property and land and you can say that he was at the right place at the right time.

Lick realized that he couldn’t take all of that money with him. So what did he do? He left millions of dollars to charities and organizations.  Funds that he gave erected buildings and monuments which still stand today.
There is a town in Pennsylvania named in his honor and there is even a crater on the moon named after him.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
In April 1856, Ezra Cornell formed the Western Union Telegraph Company 

"...the New York and Erie telegraph line was constructed through the southern part of New York State. Mr. Cornell, believing most heartily in the project, obligated himself heavily, and the result proved his far-sightedness. But now ruinous competition set in. Those who had been unwilling to help at first were anxious to share profits. To save all from bankruptcy in the cutting of rates, Mr. Cornell and a few others consolidated the various interests in the Western Union Telegraph Company...

For more than fifteen years he was the largest 
stockholder in the company; it was not strange 
therefore, that middle life found Ezra Cornell a millionaire. This was better than making pottery in 
the little town of DeRuyter. It had taken work, however, to make this fortune. While others sauntered and enjoyed life at leisure, he was working early and late, away from his family most of the time for twelve years.”

From: Lives of poor boys who became famous
by Sarah Knowles Bolton, published in 1885
Source says not in copyright 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On April 6th, 1808 businessman John Jacob Astor formed his fur trading organization that would propel him to become our nation’s earliest multi-millionaire 

Painting of Astor by Gilbert Stuart via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
American aviation pioneer and industry leader Glenn Curtiss was born on May 21st, 1878 in Hammondsport, New York.

In 1907 he set a motorcycle land-speed record after reaching a speed of just over 136 miles per hour.

Image: Curtiss in 1919 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
H.B. Reese who developed the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was born on May 24th, 1879 in York County, Pennsylvania.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Founders of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Wm. A. Davidson, Walter Davidson, Arthur Davidson, & William S. Harley

- 1920

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
California Gold Rush prospector, Union Civil War Veteran and Toledo Savings Bank President Leander Clark was born on July 17th, 1823 in Huron County, Ohio. 

There is a township in Ohio and a College in Toledo named in his honor.

Image Lt.-Col. Leander Clark via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On July 27th, 1866 the dream of American entrepreneur Cyrus W. Field became a reality when a durable and successful trans-Atlantic telegraph cable was laid.

Image: Cyrus West Field c. 1849 by Mathew Brady via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Henry Ford was born on July 30th, 1863 in 
Springwells Township, Michigan.

Image: Henry Ford sitting on a 1908 model Fordson tractor from Frankie Fouganthin via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY SA 4.0
"J.P. Morgan walking to office from yacht landing, New York”

- 1906

On today’s date February 25th, 1901 J.P. Morgan incorporated the United States Steel Corporation.

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
General Motors co-founder W.C. Durant with his wife in 1928.

About 20 years before this image was taken, on September 16th, 1908 General Motors was founded.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On September 29th, 1690 William Rittenhouse leased property from a Philadelphia merchant named Samuel Carpenter along a branch of Wissahickon Creek in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The lease’s term was for 990 years with a payment of 5 Shillings Sterling made payable on the 29th of September, each year. 

William Rittenhouse, William Bradford a printer from Philadelphia and others established the first paper mill in the United States at this location.

Image: a sketch from the 1920s titled "Where American paper was first made” via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
American steel magnate Charles M. Schwab greeting ship workers in Newark, New Jersey 

- October 14th, 1918

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
52nd Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut and founder of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Oliver Fisher Winchester, was born on November 30th, 1810 in Boston, Massachusetts.

It’s believed that his daughter-in-law Sarah Winchester authorized the unending construction of the mysterious Winchester mansion in San Jose, California in order to evade the ghosts of Winchester rifle victims.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A portrait of banker and attorney Merkel Landis. In December 1909 he started America’s first Christmas savings club in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 

Image: Landis in 1901 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On December 3rd, 1842 Charles Alfred Pillsbury, who instituted innovative milling techniques for the production of flour, was born in Warner, New Hampshire.

He founded the Pillsbury Company in 1869.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Asa Packer, who was a developer and President of the Lehigh Valley Railroad that once had lines extending from New York City through Northeastern Pennsylvania to the Great Lakes of New York State, was born on December 29th, 1805 in New London County, Connecticut. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
“It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy.”

- John D. Rockefeller

On January 10th, 1870 Standard Oil Co. was incorporated. 

Image of John D. Rockefeller c. 1872 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
George C. Tilyou, founder of Steeplechase (amusement) Park on Coney Island, New York was born on February 3, 1862, in New York City.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Howard Hughes as a child 

c. 1908-1910

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Harland “Colonel” Sanders when he was just 7 months old

- 1891

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Walt Disney showing plans for Disneyland to local officials 

- 1954 

From Orange County Archives via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0
John Wanamaker when he was U.S. Postmaster General 

- 1890

A homeless shelter and soup kitchen that he co-founded in 1878 still serves those in need in Philadelphia today. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Thomas Edison with Mina and their son Theodore Edison.

- 1909

Like his father, Theodore Edison was an inventor and entrepreneur. During his lifetime he received more than 80 patents. He lived until 1992.

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain