The Standard Oil Company was established by John D. Rockefeller in 1870. By 1880, the company had grown into an empire, controlling about 90 percent of oil refining in the United States. In 1882, Rockefeller and the company’s trustees combined Standard Oil and other companies into the Standard Oil Trust. The merger created a complicated arrangement that allowed stockholders to avoid laws prohibiting various business practices. In 1911, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling forcing the company to dissolve under the Shemran Anti-trust Act of 1890, and Standard Oil was split into thirty-three different companies, including what would become Mobil, Amoco, Exxon, and others.

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