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Benjamin E. Bates

American businessman

Died when: 69 years 186 days (834 months)
Star Sign: Cancer


Benjamin E. Bates

Benjamin Edward Bates IV (;July 12, 1808 – January 14, 1878) was an American rail industrialist, textile tycoon and philanthropist.He was the wealthiest person in Maine from 1850 to 1878, and is considered to have introduced both the Efficiency and Taylorism movements to the economy of Maine.

Bates was born to a large family in Mansfield, Massachusetts; he moved to Bristol, Maine, for a working residency at B.

T.Loring Company before creating the Davis, Bates & Turner–a craft goods and service firm in the early 1830s.After entering the milling business, he built the Bates Mill in 1852 which launched the larger Bates Manufacturing Company in Lewiston, Maine.

His company quickly became the largest per capita employer in Maine and the largest in Lewiston, for three decades.Contracted by the Maine State Legislature, Bates founded the Lewiston Water Power Company: a large mill-based enterprise that built the first canal in the city.

At the start of the American Civil War, Bates correctly anticipated that the talk of secession in the Southern States would lead to a shortage of cotton.

By buying up an unprecedented amount prior to the Battle of Fort Sumter, he cornered the market.The resulting shortage created an absolute monopoly and skyrocketing prices, which drove dozens of New England businesses to close due to the inability to compete.

Growing economic inequality in the city culminated to 1861 Lewistown cotton riots which led Bates to loosen his expansionary business tactics and increase philanthropic spending.

Like other business magnates at the time, such as J.P.Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and John D.Rockefeller, Bates supported capitalism and anti-competitiveness.

The public's opinion of Bates was highly polarized throughout his life with some citing his economic impact as critical, while others criticized his business tactics as socially detrimental.

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