Business & Finance: Lever, Firestone, Ford

With gleaming tusks, spotted skins, Africa lures the hunter. With savage tribes, brilliant plumage, exotic flowers, Africa calls to the explorer and the naturalist. But to the 20th century industrialist, eagerly scanning the world's wealth, the world's markets, Africa means first RAW MATERIALS, then CHEAP LABOR. Palm oil, extracted from the fruit of the African oil palm, the basis of many a soap, drew William Hesketh Lever to Africa in 1911 (see p. 17). More and more oil was needed for Lever Brothers' gigantic plant at Port Sunlight, England. The...

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