Standard Oil as a Technological Innovator
AbstractA century ago, in 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its path-breaking decision in the monopolization case against the Standard Oil Companies. Standard pleaded inter alia that its near-monopoly position was the result of superior innovation, citing in particular the Frasch-Burton process for refining the high-sulphur oil found around Lima, Ohio. This paper examines the role of Hermann Frasch in inventing and developing the desulphurization process, showing that Standard failed to recognize his inventive genius when he was its employee and purchased his rights and services only after he had applied the technique in his own Canadian company.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4686409.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-05-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2012-05-29 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-ENE-2012-05-29 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2012-05-29 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HME-2012-05-29 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-INO-2012-05-29 (Innovation)
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