Chicago Shady Dealer

What I Wish I Had Known on March 11th, 2020: A One-Year Retrospective on my Gilded Age History and Economy Final Exam

If only, on March 11th, 2020, I had known…


  • That Mark Twain came up with the term “Gilded Age,” not Lin-Manuel Miranda.
  • That Cornelius Vanderbilt was a railroad tycoon, not a men’s apparel line.
  • That Crédit Mobilier was a political and financial corruption scandal, not a buggy which drove up and down Wall Street offering people credit.
  • That Eugene Debs was sick as hell OH WAIT I already knew that Eugene Debs was sick as hell. Nice.
  • That Henry Clay Frick was a steel tycoon, not a men’s apparel line.
  • That the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 required the government, according to Wikipedia, to purchase “4.5 million ounces of silver bullion every month,” not 4.5 million bouillon cubes every month.
  • That Grover Cleveland won two non-consecutive presidential elections, not that he won two non-consecutive designations of Puck’s “Sexiest presidential facial hair.”
  • That Charles Crocker was a railroad tycoon, not a cookware line.
  • That I would have more than a year of solitary reflection to dwell on the above :/