Ida Tarbell between 1910 and 1930, Library of Congress
Ida Tarbell between 1910 and 1930, Library of Congress

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  • An American teacher, author and journalist - Ida Tarbell was one of the leading "muckrakers" during this time period.
    • She was also a pioneer of investigative journalism.
  • She is most well-known for her reports on John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company.
    • In 1904 she published a piece of work called, The History of the Standard Oil Company, which sought to expose the unfair business practices within the company.

Ida M. Tarbell, 86, Dies in Bridgeport, The New York Times (January 17, 1944)

Multimedia Resources

Multimedia.png Click here for a video highlighting the life of Ida Tarbell.

external image The_History_of_the_Standard_Oil_Company.jpg

Primary Sources

primary_sources.PNG Click here to read a copy of The History of the Standard Oil Company

Excerpts from The History of Standard Oil Company

A Journalistic Masterpiece, from The Rockefellers, PBS American Experience

Standard oil octopus political cartoon, 1904
Standard oil octopus political cartoon, 1904

Lesson Plans

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Click here for a lesson plan that focuses on Ida Tarbell and Rockefeller.

Tarbell vs. Rockefeller

Links for Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Monopoly from the Constitutional Rights Foundation

May 15, 1911, Supreme Court Orders Standard Oil to be Broken Up

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Standard Oil Company of New Jersey v. United States (1911)

The Dragon Slain: The Breakup of the Standard Oil Trust, e-Education Institute, Pennsylvania State University