John D. Rockefeller rode a bicycle

An elderly John D. Rockefeller poses with a bicycle for a portrait in 1913.

John D. Rockefeller bicycle portrait

Is that a shaft drive on the bike?

Rockefeller began business selling wholesale produce, then invested his savings in a new-fangled “oil refinery” in Cleveland, just as whale oil production peaked. With westward expansion after the U.S. Civil War and growing demand for petroleum, Rockefeller became the world’s richest man and the first billionaire through his ownership of Standard Oil Company.


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