1. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company Owned a Site at Newtown Creek

After moving to New York City around 1850-1851, Charles Pratt, a pioneer of the petroleum industry, established his kerosene refinery, Astral Oil Works on the Newtown Creek. He founded his oil company, Charles Pratt and Company, in 1867 alongside his then partner Henry Rogers. In the early 1870’s, however, Pratt and Rogers became involved in conflicts with John D. Rockefeller’s infamous South Improvement Company, which was obtaining favorable net rates from railroads through rebates.

To remedy the situation, Rockefeller eventually approached Charles Pratt with a plan of cooperation and consolidation. Charles Pratt and Company (including Astral Oil) joined Rockefeller’s South Improvement Company in 1874.

Next, check out The Top 12 Historical Secrets of the Gowanus Canal and read about the Proposal to Clean Gowanus Canal.