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10 Ultra smart ways, people used to make money in the old days

Ten smart ways people took to make money in old times

Before the invention of the internet in 1983, people have been making money through different sources. Till date, some of these families still make money through these means. The Internet merely increased its worldwide reach.

Although there has been a large shift in valuation, there have been billionaires from different parts of the world before the internet. In recent day, there has been a large shift in wealth creation avenues as compared to the old times. This is obviously due to the information gotten through the internet and other sources on smarter ways to make money.

Considering these methods people use during the old-time to make money, here are the top 10 smart ways through which money was made


The oil industry has been a well-known source of income for a lot of businesspersons. This has accounted as the source of income for a lot of people spread across different countries around the world. Due to the huge dependencies of machines and automobiles, it is a must-have commodity. This smart way of making an income is still currently generating income for both private businesspersons and the federal government of countries alike.

A well-known household name when it comes to oil is Rockefeller. Due to his huge accomplishment in the oil sector back in the 90s, he is regarded as the first billionaire of the United States descent. Asides Rockefeller, there are a handful of people that made a lot of money in the old times. Edward Harkness, Mrs. Lewis Lawrence, and others are top oil business people that made money through the oil business.


At a particular period in the 90s, Steel was regarded as the main business that drove the world’s industrial economy. With its expensive production cost, steel was an expensive commodity. It was only used for knives, war armor, and swords. This made it a valuable and precious entity to have. Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick were the top businessmen when it came to steel in the 90s.


Even until date, Banking has been one of the smart ways people made money in the old days. The returns on being a financer are one of the most beneficial ways through which people in the banking industry make their money.

Through banking, several loans have been given out on which profits were made. One of the huge winners through banking was George Fisher Baker. He is regarded as the Dean of American Banking. During the 90s, he was the third richest man in the united states just behind Ford and Rockefeller.

Right after the civil war, George made his fortune from being a financer and providing bank services to people. Other huge winners include J.P Morgan, Ed. H.R Green, among others.

Real Estate

The real estate business is one of the smartest ways of making money. Unlike other known business ventures, the real estate business has been one of the few to stand the test of time. Interestingly, the richest people in this category are the Japanese businesspersons. They have mastered the in and out of the real estate and property development business.

Giving the necessity of having a roof over your head, the real estate industry is one of the smartest ways in which money was and is still being made. This is one of the main sources of ‘old money’ that still runs through many families.

Shigeru Kobayashi and Haruhiko Yoshimoto, among others, are top gainers in this category. Vincent Astor, among many others, were part of the people that made huge earning through real estate ventures in the 20th century.

Railway and transport services

The railway system started a whole new industrial revolution in the United States in the 90s. This was instrumental in making the united states an industrial nation today.

The exploration of the railway system also helped the new area develop in the united states. Wherever the railway system went, cities and economy boomed due to new commerce. This is due to the transportation services of goods and services like coal, steel, iron, food e.t.c. William Rockefeller was one of the big gainers from the railway and transport services, among others.


Another smart way used in making money in the olden days was automobiles. Henry Ford is one of the most successful in this business for obvious reasons.

Due to the few numbers of people who were in the automobile industry, it was a huge way for people to make money. The automobiles developed then were quite expensive to develop hence the high cost. This increases the profitability of this industry.


Another smart way through which people made money way before the internet is Cotton. Cotton is the source of many of the old money that still runs in rich families to date.

Dating back to the 16th century, cotton has been responsible for the creation of global wealth and value. James Stillman is one of the known top earners through the cotton industry. Indians were the major shareholders, holding up to 25% of the global textile trade in the 18th century.


Being able to take smart money and making the right investment in businesses was also a huge money-making industry. A number of people championed investment opportunities. This has led to the creation of wealth that has spawned through generations until date.

There are a whole set of investors that look out for the best investment opportunities to finance and raise money through. Goldmann Sach and J.P Morgan are a good example of investors that are well known for investment.

Stock market

The stock market is another avenue through which people made money in the old days. Although the crashing of the stock market in the 1920s caused a great depression but investors already made a lot of money through this avenue.

Most smart investors know how to get the best from their stock portfolio, and this led them to great wealth for them. This resulted in a high rate of wealth output and financial boom.

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The materials required for some industries like the railway and automobile were gotten through mining. The mining process was championed by people like Daniel Guggenheim and many others who made a huge fortune through this industry.

The resultant of the mining industry has led to the construction of roads and railways, construction equipment, and other useful goods and services

Final thoughts

There are other smart money-making schemes that have been employed over time. Some are still relevant till date while others have phased out. Part of which includes the stock market, investment, oil, and so on. The cotton business, mining, and so on are not as relevant as they use to be. The invention of tech and the internet, in general, is well known to generate a lot of income for various people today.

Interestingly, through the internet, the worldwide reach of most businesses has greatly increased their values. It is worthy to note that, with the internet avenue, the smart ways people took to make money in old time would have generated more wealth just has it currently is presently.

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