Posts Tagged ‘furrier’

John Jacob Astor: America’s First Tycoon

John Jacob Astor was one of the 5 richest Americans ever.

John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) was America’s first multimillionaire. He made his fortune in the fur business, which at that time, was an honorable and necessary profession. In those mean, frigid times before the invention of Gore-Tex and Holofill, fur didn’t mean murder; it meant survival. Astor was a renowned furrier and his witty wife Sarah would often quip, “Oh you’re a furrier alright. In fact you’re furrier than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Astor was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States after the Revolutionary War. He settled in New-York City, which at the time was just Manhattan and not yet the 5 boroughs we’re so familiar with today. Astor’s monopolistic fur trading empire stretched from the Great Lakes into Canada and all the way to the West Coast, which at that time was not yet part of the United States. That concludes the book report aspect of his life, which at this point has not yet become interesting. Read the rest of this entry »