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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Now where it feels like suddenly there is this handful of giant companies that people are worried about Google Facebook, Amazon and reasonable people are starting to ask have these companies become too big and too powerful should the government step in. Now, these are relatively new companies, but these are not new questions at all. And for the next week on planet money. We are going to tell the story of how the battle over these kinds of questions created this world we live in today where companies can get unimaginably big this episode is the first in a three part series. And we're starting at the very beginning. The first time a few companies suddenly seem to be taking over America. Really? Here over supposed to go in the history of breaking up the companies in America, arguably starts at an old house in Titusville, Pennsylvania, the childhood home of a woman named Ida tar bell the house is still standing. It's actually just about twenty five minutes from the small town where I hi, you're kidding. And Kenny, we meet Lynn cress men. She's the lead volunteer here. And somehow she knows my nanna. I do know your grandma's. I know her through my husband's small towns, man. Anyway, Lynn wants to show us this spot that little Ida tar bell used to love. She opens up. What looks like a closet door. My God it is. In fact, the steepest staircase we have ever seen the staircase leads up to the houses cupola, like a little tower full of windows sunlight is pouring in. You can see the hillsides of Titusville about one hundred and fifty years ago. I'd ITAR belt was a brainy teenager. She used to come up to this tower to read her books to look through microscope and look out the window. What would she have seen out here? What would this look like I think she would have seen wagon's going down the street of horses? Pulling wagons loaded with barrels of oil and certain streets would have been squishing through the mud and the oil mixed together. Okay. Okay. Maybe that sounds gross. But it was in fact, a great problem to have in the eighteen hundreds ties Ville was the birthplace of the American oil industry. It was the first place somebody figured out that you could use a drill to get a ton of oil out of the ground. Western Pennsylvania became to the oil industry. What Silicon Valley is now for the tech industry in the eighteen sixties. It would have seemed like everybody here had an oil well or small startup oil refinery people. Came from all over the country to get a piece of the money just bubbling out of the ground. One of those people was Franklin tar bell, the father of Ida tar bell. He and some partners were into producing oil, and he was doing pretty well. He had this nice house with an awesome tower for his daughter Ida to hang out in. But one day, I came downstairs and something had changed Ida would later. Right. I remember a night when my father came home with a grim look on his face. He no longer told of the funny things he had seen and heard during the day. He no longer saying to my little sister. Hello and welcome to planet money. I'm Kenny Malone, and I'm Julius Simon would be thirty years before Ida tar Bill fully figured out. What was going on that night, and what she found out would change her life and the way the United States thinks about big business today on the show. I'd ATar bell versus the