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The term "Captains of Industry" describes a business leaders in the 1800's, whose means of amassing a personal fortune contributes positively to the country in some way. The term 'Captains of Industry' was coined by Thomas Carlyle in his 1843 book called "Past and Present". Unlike the infamous "Robber Barons", the Captains of Industry had a significant impact on the nation and on the people of America.
Robber baron were a business leaders using political means to achieve personal ends and were contrasted with “captains of industry.” People such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Mellon, Henry Ford, Leland Stanford, John D. Rockefeller were called "captains of industry" overlap with those called "robber barons."