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Merger Movements in American Industry, 1895-1956



The Merger Movement from 1895 through 1920 This PDF is a selection from an out-of-print volume from the National Bureau of Economic Research Volume Title: Merger Movements in American Industry, 1895-1956 Volume Author/Editor: Ralph L. Nelson Volume Publisher: Princeton University Press Volume ISBN: 0-87014-065-5 Volume URL: Publication Date: 1959 Chapter Title: The Merger Movement from 1895 through 1920 Chapter Author: Ralph L. Nelson Chapter URL: Chapter pages in book: (p. 33 - 70) Chapter 3. The Merger Movement from 1895 through 1920 The large wave of mergers at the turn of the century has never been characterized in sufficient detail to permit analysis; no earlier discussions covered such important aspects as industry composition, size distribution, and type of merger. The merger pattern from 1904 to 1919 has never been described at all. The study makes possible a survey of this dimly perceived yet important quarter-century of merger history. The immense merger peak of 1899—1901 will be more clearly revealed, and it becomes more im- pressive when set against the mergers of the two succeeding decades. After a survey of the fluctuations in merger activity, later sections will deal with its industrial composition and size distribution, the comparative roles of acquisitions and consolidations, and the dis- tribution of merger activity among states, that is, by state of incorporation. As throughout, observation is confined to the manu- facturing and mining industries. Source: Tobli B—2 33 CHART 2 Quarterly Series of Firm Disappearances by Merger, Unsmoothed, 1895—1920 300 275 250 225 200 THE MERGER MO VEMENT FROM 1895 THROUGH 1920 The Time Pattern Chart 2 presents the quarterly series of firm disappearances by merger from 1898 through 1920. It suggests a division into three subperiods, each characterized by the predominant nature of its merger activity: Subperiod D

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