CARRIERS: Four Short Years

Though very much of a power in Indiana, George A. Ball, glass-jar tycoon of Muncie, was practically unknown when Oris Paxton Van Sweringen and Mantis James Van Sweringen called upon him in 1935. "0. P." and "M. J." were $50,000,000 in the hole and J. P. Morgan & Co. was about to auction their $3,000,000,000 railroad empire. At the auction George A. Ball bid in the empire for a mere $3,121,000. He was not a railroad man; he bought it for the Vans to run. But within a year the amazing brothers both...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!