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ExxonMobil Historical Collection - Page 4

Detail from Mobil Illustration
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a legal opinion, written in 1881 by Samuel C. T. Dodd, Standard Oil's solicitor and Rockefeller's own attorney. In this simple, unassuming document, Dodd speculates how it would be possible for Standard Oil to "organize a Corporation for purpose of holding Stocks of Corporations in various States," setting into motion the creation of the Standard Oil Trust, and foreshadowing the rise of the modern corporation.

By 1889, the Trust had amassed companies responsible for all aspects of the petroleum industry creating a vast, vertically integrated organization. Congress's passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act the following year, however, led the Ohio Supreme Court to order the dissolution of the Trust in 1892. While the Standard Oil trustees acquiesced, the court's order meant very little since the trustees, as board members, maintained control of the 20 companies that comprised the Trust. Major reorganization ensued, and in 1899, Standard Oil 

Gas pump graphic
Gas pump hose graphic

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