The Great Merger Wave
The Great Merger Wave of 1898-1902 had its roots in structural changes in American industry during the previous decades. Beginning in the 1870s and accelerating in the 1880s, a number of manufacturing industries became dominated by large, vertically integrated firms. Standard Oil, the American Tobacco Company, the Campbell Soup Company, Proctor and Gamble, General Electric, and many other large industrial firms had their origins during this period. Industries such as food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, primary metals, machinery, and transportation equipment came to be dominated by a few large firms.