Henry clay frick johnstown flood

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henry clay frick johnstown flood

Henry Clay Frick: The Life of the Perfect Capitalist by Quentin R. Skrabec Jr.

Henry Clay Frick, reviled in his own time, infamous in ours, was blamed for the Johnstown Flood (which killed 2,200 people) as well as the violent Homestead Strike of 1892, and survived an assassination attempt, yet at the same time was an ardent philanthropist, giving more than $100 million during his lifetime and in his will, while insisting on anonymity. This biography explores the contradictions in this great industrialists nature and avoids the extremes of both hagiography and denunciation.
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JOHNSTOWN FLOOD - MAY 31, 1889 - The History Guy on location

Soldiers sit on a hill overlooking Johnstown, Pennsylvania after the flood.
Quentin R. Skrabec Jr.

Henry Clay Frick

The Western Reservoir later renamed Lake Conemaugh had been constructed not for recreation, but instead to provide water for the section of the Pennsylvania Canal between Johnstown and Pittsburgh. However, the canal system became obsolete almost immediately after the reservoir was completed in Very little maintenance was performed on the dam during its existence, even though it broke once already in this break caused very little damage, as the reservoir was only half full. In fact, one owner removed the drainage pipes beneath the dam to sell them for scrap, which meant there was no way to drain the reservoir for repairs. Click here for a complete list of club members. Organized in , the purpose of the club was to provide the members and their families an opportunity to get away from the noise, heat and dirt of Pittsburgh.

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This is a beta version of NNDB. During the financial panic of , Frick bought out most of his competitors, and by the early s he was a multi-millionaire, controlling about 40, acres of productive coal land and operating 12, coke ovens. In he entered a partnership with steel magnate Andrew Carnegie , giving Carnegie a controlling interest in Frick Coke Company, for which Frick received a minority interest in the Carnegie Steel Company. When Carnegie retired in , Frick became chairman of Carnegie Steel, and under his management it became the world's largest coke and steel operation. He was a lead investor in a group which purchased a reservoir now known as Lake Conemaugh, near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, converting the shore into a private resort for the wealthy called the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club.

Frick began building and operating coke ovens in , and the following year he organized Frick and Company. Taking advantage of the difficult times following the financial panic of , he acquired extensive coal deposits and supplied Pittsburgh with the coke required for its steel and iron industry. In Frick was made chairman of Carnegie Brothers and Company to reorganize their steel business. He was responsible for building Carnegie into the largest manufacturer of steel and coke in the world. As a result of his leading role in the dispute during the Homestead Pennsylvania steel strike of , he was shot and stabbed by Alexander Berkman , an anarchist, but survived. Frick played a major role in the formation of the United States Steel Corporation in and later became a director. He also served as a director of a number of railroads.

Frick is probably the most controversial businessman ever to operate in Pittsburgh. Whether Frick is in hell or not, we can only guess, but what we do know is that most people are a combination of virtue and vice, and Frick certainly was a mixed bag. He attended Otterbein University, but dropped out after a year. In when he was 21, he and two cousins formed a partnership, Frick Coke Company, building beehive ovens that turned coal into coke, a necessary element used in the manufacturing of steel. The company became the largest producer of coke in the world, helping him to make good on his goal. With loans from family friend Andrew W.


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