Rail transport is a means of transferring of passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails known as tracks. It is commonly referred to as train transport. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, rail vehicles are directionally guided by the tracks on which they run. Tracks consist of steel rails, installed on ties and ballast, on which the rolling stock fitted with metal wheels, moves. Other variations are possible, such as slab track, where the rails are fastened to a concrete foundation resting on a prepared subsurface. Rolling stock in a rail transport system encounters lower frictional resistance than road vehicles, so passenger and freight cars can be coupled into longer trains; the operation is carried out by a railway company, providing transport between train stations or freight customer facilities. Power is provided by locomotives which either draw electric power from a railway electrification system or produce their own power by diesel engines.
Most tracks are accompanied by a signalling system. Railways are a safe land transport system. Railway transport is capable of high levels of passenger and cargo utilization and energy efficiency, but is less flexible and more capital-intensive than road transport, when lower traffic levels are considered; the oldest known, man/animal-hauled railways date back to the 6th century BC in Greece. Rail transport commenced in mid 16th century in Germany in the form of horse-powered funiculars and wagonways. Modern rail transport commenced with the British development of the steam locomotives in the early 19th century, thus the railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world. Built by George Stephenson and his son Robert's company Robert Stephenson and Company, the Locomotion No. 1 is the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825. George Stephenson built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use only the steam locomotives all the time, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830.
With steam engines, one could construct mainline railways, which were a key component of the Industrial Revolution. Railways reduced the costs of shipping, allowed for fewer lost goods, compared with water transport, which faced occasional sinking of ships; the change from canals to railways allowed for "national markets" in which prices varied little from city to city. The spread of the railway network and the use of railway timetables, led to the standardisation of time in Britain based on Greenwich Mean Time. Prior to this, major towns and cities varied their local time relative to GMT; the invention and development of the railway in the United Kingdom was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century. The world's first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, opened in 1863. In the 1880s, electrified trains were introduced, leading to electrification of tramways and rapid transit systems. Starting during the 1940s, the non-electrified railways in most countries had their steam locomotives replaced by diesel-electric locomotives, with the process being complete by the 2000s.
During the 1960s, electrified high-speed railway systems were introduced in Japan and in some other countries. Many countries are in the process of replacing diesel locomotives with electric locomotives due to environmental concerns, a notable example being Switzerland, which has electrified its network. Other forms of guided ground transport outside the traditional railway definitions, such as monorail or maglev, have been tried but have seen limited use. Following a decline after World War II due to competition from cars, rail transport has had a revival in recent decades due to road congestion and rising fuel prices, as well as governments investing in rail as a means of reducing CO2 emissions in the context of concerns about global warming; the history of rail transport began in the 6th century BC in Ancient Greece. It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of track material and motive power used. Evidence indicates that there was 6 to 8.5 km long Diolkos paved trackway, which transported boats across the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece from around 600 BC.
Wheeled vehicles pulled by men and animals ran in grooves in limestone, which provided the track element, preventing the wagons from leaving the intended route. The Diolkos was in use for over 650 years, until at least the 1st century AD; the paved trackways were later built in Roman Egypt. In 1515, Cardinal Matthäus Lang wrote a description of the Reisszug, a funicular railway at the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Austria; the line used wooden rails and a hemp haulage rope and was operated by human or animal power, through a treadwheel. The line still exists and is operational, although in updated form and is the oldest operational railway. Wagonways using wooden rails, hauled by horses, started appearing in the 1550s to facilitate the transport of ore tubs to and from mines, soon became popular in Europe; such an operation was illustrated in Germany in 1556 by Georgius Agricola in his work De re metallica. This line used "Hund" carts with unflanged wheels running on wooden planks and a vertical pin on the truck fitting into the gap between the planks to keep it going the right way.
The miners called the wagons Hunde from the noise. There are many references to their use in central Europe in the 16th century; such a transport system was used by German miners at Cal
Tsar spelled czar, or tzar, is a title used to designate East and South Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers of Eastern Europe Bulgarian monarchs from 10th century onwards. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism; the term is derived from the Latin word Caesar, intended to mean "Emperor" in the European medieval sense of the term—a ruler with the same rank as a Roman emperor, holding it by the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official —but was considered by western Europeans to be equivalent to king, or to be somewhat in between a royal and imperial rank. "Tsar" and its variants were the official titles of the following states: First Bulgarian Empire, in 919–1018 Second Bulgarian Empire, in 1185–1396 Serbian Empire, in 1346–1371 Tsardom of Russia, in 1547–1721 Tsardom of Bulgaria, in 1908–1946The first ruler to adopt the title tsar was Simeon I of Bulgaria. Simeon II, the last Tsar of Bulgaria, is the last person to have borne the title Tsar.
The title Tsar is derived from the Latin title for Caesar. In comparison to the corresponding Latin word "imperator", the Byzantine Greek term basileus was used differently depending on whether it was in a contemporary political context or in a historical or Biblical context. In the history of the Greek language, basileus had meant something like "potentate", it approached the meaning of "king" in the Hellenistic Period, it came to designate "emperor" after the inception in the Roman Empire. As a consequence, Byzantine sources continued to call the Biblical and ancient kings "basileus" when that word had come to mean "emperor" when referring to contemporary monarchs; as the Greek "basileus" was rendered as "tsar" in Slavonic translations of Greek texts, the dual meaning was transferred into Church Slavonic. Thus, "tsar" was not only used as an equivalent of Latin "imperator" but was used to refer to Biblical rulers and ancient kings. From this ambiguity, the development has moved in different directions in the different Slavic languages.
Thus, the Bulgarian language and Russian language no longer use tsar as an equivalent of the term emperor/imperator as it exists in the West European tradition. The term tsar refers to native sovereigns and Biblical rulers, as well as monarchs in fairy tales and the like; the title of king is sometimes perceived as alien and is by some Russian-speakers reserved for European royalty. Foreign monarchs of imperial status, both inside and outside of Europe, ancient as well as modern, are called imperator, rather than tsar. In contrast, the Serbocroatian language translate "emperor" as tsar and not as imperator, whereas the equivalent of king is used to designate monarchs of non-imperial status, Serbian as well as foreign ancient rulers—like Latin "rex". Biblical rulers in Serbian are called цар and in Croatian kralj. In the modern West Slavic languages and Slovene language, the use of the terms is nearly identical to the one in English and German: a king is designated with one term, an emperor is designated with another, derived from Caesar as in German, while the exotic term "tsar" is reserved for the Bulgarian and Serbian rulers.
In the Polish language however tsar is used as an equivalent to imperator, never as king. The term tsar is always used to refer to the Russian rulers before Peter the Great, often to those succeeding. In 705 Emperor Justinian II named Tervel of Bulgaria "Caesar", the first foreigner to receive this title, but his descendants continued to use Bulgar title "Kanasubigi"; the sainted Boris I is sometimes retrospectively referred to as tsar, because at his time Bulgaria was converted to Christianity. However, the title "tsar" was adopted and used for the first time by his son Simeon I, following a makeshift imperial coronation performed by the Patriarch of Constantinople in 913. After an attempt by the Byzantine Empire to revoke this major diplomatic concession and a decade of intensive warfare, the imperial title of the Bulgarian ruler was recognized by the Byzantine government in 924 and again at the formal conclusion of peace in 927. Since in Byzantine political theory there was place for only two emperors and Western, the Bulgarian ruler was crowned basileus as "a spiritual son" of the Byzantine basileus.
Some of the earliest attested occurrences of the titlo-contraction "tsar" from "tsesar" are found in the grave inscription of the chărgubilja Mostich, a contemporary of Simeon I and Peter I, from Presl
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Matthew C. Perry
Matthew Calbraith Perry was a Commodore of the United States Navy who commanded ships in several wars, including the War of 1812 and the Mexican–American War. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. Perry was interested in the education of naval officers, assisted in the development of an apprentice system that helped establish the curriculum at the United States Naval Academy. With the advent of the steam engine, he became a leading advocate of modernizing the U. S. Navy and came to be considered "The Father of the Steam Navy" in the United States. Matthew Perry was the son of Navy Captain Christopher Raymond Perry, he was born April 10, 1794, South Kingstown, R. I. U. S, his siblings included Oliver Hazard Perry, Raymond Henry Jones Perry, Sarah Wallace Perry, Anna Marie Perry, James Alexander Perry, Nathaniel Hazard Perry, Jane Tweedy Perry. His mother was born in County Down and was a descendant of an uncle of William Wallace, the Scottish knight and landowner, known for leading a resistance during the Wars of Scottish Independence and is today remembered as a patriot and national hero.
His paternal grandparents were James Freeman Perry, a surgeon, Mercy Hazard, a descendant of Governor Thomas Prence, a co-founder of Eastham, a political leader in both the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies, governor of Plymouth. In 1809, Perry received a midshipman's warrant in the Navy, was assigned to USS Revenge, under the command of his elder brother, his early career saw him assigned to several ships, including USS President, where he served as an aide to Commodore John Rodgers. President was in a victorious engagement over a British vessel, HMS Little Belt, shortly before the War of 1812 was declared. Perry continued aboard President during the War of 1812 and was present at the engagement with HMS Belvidera. Rodgers fired the first shot of the war at Belvidera. A shot resulted in a cannon bursting, killing several men and wounding Rodgers and others. Perry transferred to USS United States, commanded by Stephen Decatur, saw little fighting in the war afterwards, since the ship was trapped in port at New London, Connecticut.
Following the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, Perry served on various vessels in the Mediterranean. Perry served under Commodore William Bainbridge during the Second Barbary War, he served in African waters aboard USS Cyane during its patrol off Liberia from 1819 to 1820. After that cruise, Perry was sent to suppress the slave trade in the West Indies. During this period, while in port in Russia, Perry was offered a commission in the Imperial Russian Navy, which he declined. Perry commanded USS Shark, a schooner with 12 guns, from 1821 to 1825. In 1763, when Britain possessed Florida, the Spanish contended that the Florida Keys were part of Cuba and North Havana. Certain elements within the United States felt that Key West could be the "Gibraltar of the West" because it guarded the northern edge of the 90 miles wide Straits of Florida—the deep water route between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. In 1815 the Spanish governor in Havana deeded the island of Key West to Juan Pablo Salas of Saint Augustine.
After Florida was transferred to the United States, Salas sold Key West to American businessman John W. Simonton for $2,000 in 1821. Simonton lobbied the U. S. Government to establish a naval base on Key West both to take advantage of its strategic location and to bring law and order to the area. On March 25, 1822, Perry sailed Shark to Key West and planted the U. S. flag, physically claiming the Keys as United States territory. Perry renamed Cayo Hueso "Thompson's Island" for the Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson and the harbor "Port Rodgers" for the president of the Board of Navy Commissioners. Neither name stuck however. From 1826 to 1827, Perry acted as fleet captain for Commodore Rodgers. Perry returned to Charleston, South Carolina for shore duty in 1828, in 1830 took command of a sloop-of-war, USS Concord, he spent the years 1833–1837 as second officer of the New York Navy Yard, gaining promotion to captain at the end of this tour. Perry had an ardent interest and saw the need for the naval education, supporting an apprentice system to train new seamen, helped establish the curriculum for the United States Naval Academy.
He was a vocal proponent of modernizing the Navy. Once promoted to captain, he oversaw construction of the Navy's second steam frigate USS Fulton, which he commanded after its completion, he was called "The Father of the Steam Navy", he organized America's first corps of naval engineers, conducted the first U. S. naval gunnery school while commanding Fulton in 1839–1841 off Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey. Perry received the title of commodore in June 1840, when the Secretary of the Navy appointed him commandant of New York Navy Yard; the United States Navy did not have ranks higher than captain until 1857, so the title of commodore carried considerable importance. An officer would revert to his permanent rank after the squadron command assignment had ended, although in practice officers who received the title of commodore retained the title for life, Perry was no exception. During his tenure in Brooklyn
Howard Robard Hughes Jr. was an American business magnate, record-setting pilot, film director, philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. He first became prominent as a film producer, as an influential figure in the aviation industry. In life, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle—oddities that were caused in part by a worsening obsessive–compulsive disorder, chronic pain from a near-fatal plane crash, increasing deafness; as a maverick film tycoon, Hughes gained fame in Hollywood beginning in the late 1920s, when he produced big-budget and controversial films such as The Racket, Hell's Angels, Scarface. He controlled the RKO film studio. Hughes formed the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1932, hiring numerous designers, he spent the rest of the 1930s and much of the 1940s setting multiple world air speed records and building the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 Hercules. He acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines and acquired Air West, renaming it Hughes Airwest.
Hughes was included in Flying Magazine's list of the 51 Heroes of Aviation, ranked at No. 25. Today, his legacy is maintained through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Howard Hughes Corporation. Records locate the birthplace of Howard Hughes as Houston, Texas; the date remains uncertain due to conflicting dates from various sources. He claimed Christmas Eve as his birthday. A 1941 affidavit birth certificate of Hughes, signed by his aunt Annette Gano Lummis and by Estelle Boughton Sharp, states that he was born on December 24, 1905, in Harris County, Texas. However, his certificate of baptism, recorded on October 7, 1906 in the parish register of St. John's Episcopal Church in Keokuk, listed his date of birth as September 24, 1905, without any reference to the place of birth. Hughes was the son of Allene Stone Gano and of Howard R. Hughes Sr. a successful inventor and businessman from Missouri. He had English and some French Huguenot ancestry, was a descendant of John Gano, the minister who baptized George Washington.
His father patented the two-cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling for petroleum in inaccessible places. The senior Hughes made the shrewd and lucrative decision to commercialize the invention by leasing the bits instead of selling them, obtained several early patents, founded the Hughes Tool Company in 1909. Hughes' uncle was the famed novelist and film-director Rupert Hughes. At a young age, Hughes showed interest in technology. In particular, he had great engineering aptitude and built Houston's first "wireless" radio transmitter at age 11, he went on to be one of the first licensed ham-radio operators in Houston, having the assigned callsign W5CY. At 12, Hughes was photographed in the local newspaper, identified as the first boy in Houston to have a "motorized" bicycle, which he had built from parts from his father's steam engine, he was an indifferent student, with a liking for mathematics and mechanics. He took his first flying lesson at 14, attended Fessenden School in Massachusetts in 1921.
He attended math and aeronautical engineering courses at Caltech. The red-brick house where Hughes lived as a teenager at 3921 Yoakum St. Houston became the headquarters of the Theology Department of the University of St. Thomas, his mother Allene died in March 1922 from complications of an ectopic pregnancy. Howard Hughes Sr. died of a heart attack in 1924. Their deaths inspired Hughes to include the establishment of a medical research laboratory in the will that he signed in 1925 at age 19. Howard Sr.'s will had not been updated since Allene's death, Hughes inherited 75% of the family fortune. On his 19th birthday, Hughes was declared an emancipated minor, enabling him to take full control of his life. From a young age Hughes became a enthusiastic golfer, he scored near-par figures, played the game to a two-three handicap during his 20s, for a time aimed for a professional golf career. He golfed with top players, including Gene Sarazen. Hughes played competitively and gave up his passion for the sport to pursue other interests.
Hughes used to play golf every afternoon at LA courses including the Lakeside Golf Club, Wilshire Country Club, or the Bel-Air Country Club. Partners included Ozzie Carlton. After Hughes hurt himself in the late 1920s, his golfing tapered off, after his F-11 crash, Hughes was unable to play at all. Hughes withdrew from Rice University shortly after his father's death. On June 1, 1925 he married Ella Botts Rice, daughter of David Rice and Martha Lawson Botts of Houston, they moved to Los Angeles. They moved into the Ambassador Hotel, Hughes proceeded to learn to fly a Waco, while producing his first motion picture, Swell Hogan. Hughes enjoyed a successful business career beyond engineering and filmmaking, though many of his career endeavors involved varying entrepreneurial roles; the Summa Corporation was the name adopted for the business interests of Howard Hughes after he sold the tool division of Hughes Tool Company in 1972. The company serves as the principal holding company for Hughes' business investments.
It is involved in aerospace and defense, mass media and hospitality industries, but has maintained a strong presence in a wide variety of industries including real estate, petroleum drilling and oilfield services, entertainment
Natural resources are resources that exist without actions of humankind. This includes all valued characteristics such as magnetic, electrical properties and forces etc. On earth it includes: sunlight, water, land along with all vegetation and animal life that subsists upon or within the heretofore identified characteristics and substances. Particular areas such as the rainforest in Fatu-Hiva are characterized by the biodiversity and geodiversity existent in their ecosystems. Natural resources may be further classified in different ways. Natural resources are components that can be found within the environment; every man-made product is composed of natural resources. A natural resource may exist as a separate entity such as fresh water, as well as a living organism such as a fish, or it may exist in an alternate form that must be processed to obtain the resource such as metal ores, rare earth metals and most forms of energy. There is much debate worldwide over natural resource allocations, this is true during periods of increasing scarcity and shortages.
There are various methods of categorizing natural resources, these include source of origin, stage of development, by their renewability. On the basis of origin, natural resources may be divided into two types: Biotic — Biotic resources are obtained from the biosphere, such as forests and animals, the materials that can be obtained from them. Fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum are included in this category because they are formed from decayed organic matter. Abiotic – Abiotic resources are those that come from non-living, non-organic material. Examples of abiotic resources include land, fresh water, rare earth metals and heavy metals including ores such as gold, copper, etc. Considering their stage of development, natural resources may be referred to in the following ways: Potential resources — Potential resources are those that may be used in the future—for example, petroleum in sedimentary rocks that, until drilled out and put to use remains a potential resource Actual resources — Those resources that have been surveyed and qualified and, are used—development, such as wood processing, depends on technology and cost Reserve resources — The part of an actual resource that can be developed profitably in the future Stock resources — Those that have been surveyed, but cannot be used due to lack of technology—for example, hydrogenMany natural resources can be categorized as either renewable or non-renewable: Renewable resources — Renewable resources can be replenished naturally.
Some of these resources, like sunlight, wind, etc, are continuously available and their quantity is not noticeably affected by human consumption. Though many renewable resources do not have such a rapid recovery rate, these resources are susceptible to depletion by over-use. Resources from a human use perspective are classified as renewable so long as the rate of replenishment/recovery exceeds that of the rate of consumption, they replenish compared to Non-renewable resources. Non-renewable resources – Non-renewable resources either form or do not form in the environment. Minerals are the most common resource included in this category. By the human perspective, resources are non-renewable when their rate of consumption exceeds the rate of replenishment/recovery; some resources naturally deplete in amount without human interference, the most notable of these being radio-active elements such as uranium, which decay into heavy metals. Of these, the metallic minerals can be re-used by recycling them, but coal and petroleum cannot be recycled.
Once they are used they take millions of years to replenish. Resource extraction involves any activity; this can range in scale to global industry. Extractive industries are, along with agriculture, the basis of the primary sector of the economy. Extraction produces raw material, processed to add value. Examples of extractive industries are hunting, mining and gas drilling, forestry. Natural resources can add substantial amounts to a country's wealth, however, a sudden inflow of money caused by a resource boom can create social problems including inflation harming other industries and corruption, leading to inequality and underdevelopment, this is known as the "resource curse". Extractive industries represent a large growing activity in many less-developed countries but the wealth generated does not always lead to sustainable and inclusive growth. People accuse extractive industry businesses as acting only to maximize short-term value, implying that less-developed countries are vulnerable to powerful corporations.
Alternatively, host governments are assumed to be only maximizing immediate revenue. Researchers argue; these present opportunities for international governmental agencies to engage with the private sector and host governments through revenue management and expenditure accountability, infrastructure development, employment creation and enterprise development and impacts on children girls and women. A strong civil society can play an important role in ensuring effective management of natural resources. Norway can ser
Cornelius Vanderbilt was an American business magnate and philanthropist who built his wealth in railroads and shipping. Born poor and having only a mediocre education, Vanderbilt worked his way into leadership positions in the inland water trade and invested in the growing railroad industry. Nicknamed "The Commodore", he is known for owning the New York Central Railroad, his biographer says, "He vastly improved and expanded the nation's transportation infrastructure, contributing to a transformation of the geography of the United States. He embraced new technologies and new forms of business organization, used them to compete.... He helped to create the corporate economy that would define the United States into the 21st century." As one of the richest Americans in history and wealthiest figures overall, Vanderbilt was the patriarch of a wealthy, influential family. He provided the initial gift to found Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. According to historian H. Roger Grant: "Contemporaries, too hated or feared Vanderbilt or at least considered him an unmannered brute.
While Vanderbilt could be a rascal and cunning, he was much more a builder than a wrecker being honorable and hard-working." Cornelius Vanderbilt's great-great-grandfather, Jan Aertson or Aertszoon, was a Dutch farmer from the village of De Bilt in Utrecht, who emigrated to New Amsterdam as an indentured servant in 1650. The Dutch van der was added to Aertson's village name to create "van der Bilt"; this was condensed to Vanderbilt. Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in Staten Island, New York on May 27, 1794 to Cornelius van Derbilt and Phebe Hand, he began working on his father's ferry in New York Harbor as a boy, quitting school at the age of 11. At the age of 16, Vanderbilt decided to start his own ferry service. According to one version of events, he borrowed $100 from his mother to purchase a periauger, which he christened the Swiftsure. However, according to the first account of his life, published in 1853, the periauger belonged to his father and the younger Vanderbilt received half the profit.
He began his business by ferrying freight and passengers on a ferry between Staten Island and Manhattan. Such was his energy and eagerness in his trade that other captains nearby took to calling him The Commodore in jest – a nickname that stuck with him all his life. While many Vanderbilt family members had joined the Episcopal Church, Cornelius Vanderbilt remained a member of the Moravian Church to his death. Along with other members of the Vanderbilt family, he helped erect a local Moravian parish church in his city. On December 19, 1813, at age 19 Vanderbilt married his first cousin, Sophia Johnson, daughter of Nathaniel Johnson and Elizabeth Hand, they moved into a boarding house on Broad Street in Manhattan. They had 13 children together: Phebe in 1814, Ethelinda in 1817, Eliza in 1819, William in 1821, Emily in 1823, Sophia in 1825, Maria in 1827, Frances in 1828, Cornelius Jeremiah in 1830, George in 1832, Mary in 1834, Catherine in 1836, another son named George in 1839. In addition to running his ferry, Vanderbilt bought his brother-in-law John De Forest's schooner Charlotte and traded in food and merchandise in partnership with his father and others.
But on November 24, 1817, a ferry entrepreneur named Thomas Gibbons asked Vanderbilt to captain his steamboat between New Jersey and New York. Although Vanderbilt kept his own businesses running, he became Gibbons's business manager; when Vanderbilt entered his new position, Gibbons was fighting against a steamboat monopoly in New York waters, granted by the New York State Legislature to the politically influential patrician Robert Livingston and Robert Fulton, who had designed the steamboat. Though both Livingston and Fulton had died by the time Vanderbilt started working for Gibbons, the monopoly was held by Livingston's heirs, they had granted a license to Aaron Ogden to run a ferry between New Jersey. Gibbons launched his steamboat venture because of a personal dispute with Ogden, whom he hoped to drive into bankruptcy. To accomplish this, he undercut prices and brought a landmark legal case – Gibbons v. Ogden – to the United States Supreme Court to overturn the monopoly. Working for Gibbons, Vanderbilt learned to operate a complicated business.
He moved with his family to New Brunswick, New Jersey, a stop on Gibbons' line between New York and Philadelphia. There his wife Sophia operated a profitable inn, using the proceeds to feed and educate their children. Vanderbilt proved a quick study in legal matters, representing Gibbons in meetings with lawyers, he went to Washington, D. C. to hire Daniel Webster to argue the case before the Supreme Court. Vanderbilt appealed his own case against the monopoly to the Supreme Court, next on the docket after Gibbons v. Ogden; the Court never heard Vanderbilt's case, because on March 2, 1824, it ruled in Gibbons' favor, saying that states had no power to interfere with interstate commerce. The case is still considered a landmark ruling; the protection of competitive interstate commerce is considered the basis for much of the prosperity which the United States has generated. After Thomas Gibbons died in 1826, Vanderbilt worked for Gibbons' son William until 1829. Though he had always run his own businesses on the side, he now worked for himself.
Step by step, he started lines between the surrounding region. First he took over Gibbons' ferry to New Jersey switched to western Long Island Sound. In 1831, he took over his brother Jacob's line to Peekskill, New York, on the lower H