Edward Delavan was born in Westchester County, NY, in 1793. His father died when Edward was eight and he and his mother, brother, and two sisters moved to Albany. Edward began work in a printer’s office at 13 years of age and after several years, left to work at his brother’s hardware store. While at the hardware store, he began selling wine, which proved very successful. [Read more…] about Temperance & Fire At The Delavan House: Albany’s Finest 19th Century Hotel
Albany & Susquehanna Railroad
The period after the Civil War was one of significant economic and technological expansion in the nation and one in which corporations headquartered in Lower Manhattan and Wall Street would obtain a significant hegemony over the American economy.
This was a time in which individual entrepreneurs were running private businesses located on Wall Street. Men such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan were major figures in the country and attained economic power and wealth on a scale previously unknown in United States history.
Much of their wealth was derived exploiting natural resources and technological innovations (notably steam engines, railroads, and oil). It was also largely dependent on the economy’s western expansion and African-American and immigrant labor. These men, who some call “Titans of Industry” and others “Robber Barons,” generally consolidated independent businesses into national enterprises, large monopolies, and multinational corporations. Many of these were headquartered in Lower Manhattan. [Read more…] about Wall Street History: Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Gould, and Morgan
Among the many hundreds of steamboats plying the Hudson River when that waterway served as a primary method of moving people and freight, a few stand out as unusual. The most remarkable of these is perhaps the railroad transports, used to ferry railroad cars.
Also known as train ferries, or car ferries (not to be confused with auto ferries), they were fitted with railway tracks and doors at each end to allow for loading and unloading. [Read more…] about Train Ferries: The Hudson River’s Most Unusual Steamers
New York’s railroads were born of the cutthroat conflict of rate wars, bloody strikes and political graft. The railroad wars began as soon as the first line was chartered between Albany and Schenectady when supporters of the Erie Canal tried to block the new technology that would render their waterway obsolete.
After the first primitive railroads overcame that hurdle, they began battling with one another in a series of rate wars to gain market share. Attracted by the success of the rails, the most powerful and cunning capitalists in the country—Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, Daniel Drew and other robber barons—joined the fray. [Read more…] about The Railroad Wars of New York State