Where are they now? The 12 members of the 1896 Dow Jones industrial average

Akin Oyedele

When the Dow Jones Industrial Average was created in 1896, it had about a dozen industrial stocks.

Apple's addition to the current list of 30 American conglomerates, in March 2015, shows just how far the index has come.

It's no longer focused only on "industrial" stocks. Goldman Sachs' stock accounted for the chunk of the index's postelection gain to the 20,000 milestone it achieved on Wednesday January 25.

Apple replaced AT&T, which was popularly known as American Telephone & Telegraph when it joined the Dow in October 1916.

This index has seen a lot of turnover in its history — and only one of the original 12 members continues to hold a spot in it.

American Cotton Oil Company

What it did: It formed as a trust after several mill owners in Texas and Arkansas combined syndicates to regulate the price of seeds. It became a corporation in 1889 after the trust was dissolved through a lawsuit.
Where it is now: It evolved into a company that became part of Unilever. The original company was dropped from the Dow in 1901.
Sources: Scripophily, Wikipedia
loppear/Flickr

American Sugar Company

What it did: It was the largest American company in the sugar-refining business in the early 20th century, with investments in the Caribbean. It was established in 1891 with $50 million in capital. Where it is now: It has since been acquired by American Sugar Refining Inc., whose products include Domino Sugar. It was dropped from the Dow in 1930. Source: Wikipedia
Wikimedia

American Tobacco Company

What it did: The American Tobacco Company acquired over 200 competitors to become the dominant player in the industry. It was founded in 1890. Where it is now: The Supreme Court ordered it to dissolve following an antitrust lawsuit. It splintered into many smaller companies and renamed itself Fortune Brands. It was dropped from the Dow in 1985. Source: Wikipedia
Courtesy of Google Maps

Chicago Gas Company

What it did: The company bought various gas and heating companies in Chicago with a capital of $25 million. It was founded in 1887. Where it is now: It was acquired 10 years later and has evolved into a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, a publicly traded company. The original company, after merging with Peoples Gas, was dropped from the Dow in 1915. Sources: Wikipedia, "Chicago Securities" Volume 4
Wikipedia

General Electric

What it did: It was formed as an electricity company in 1892 in a merger that included a business owned by Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb. Where it is now: It evolved into a multinational giant with several businesses including power, oil and gas, aviation, and transportation. In April 2015, it began the process of selling most of its GE Capital assets to create a slimmer company. It has been in and out of the Dow and is still listed. Source: Wikipedia
Alan Murray-Rust, licensed for reuse

Distilling & Cattle Feeding Company

What it did: It made spirits and alcohol. It was later renamed American Spirits Manufacturing. Where it is now: It evolved into Millennium Chemicals, the world's second-largest producer of titanium dioxide, which is used in products including sunscreen and paint. The original company was dropped from the Dow in 1899. Sources: Wikipedia, "New York Supplement"
public-domain-images.com

Laclede Gas Company

What it did: It used natural gas to provide home and street lighting. Where it is now: It's still around and is described as the largest distributor of natural gas in Missouri. It was dropped from the Dow in 1899. Source: Wikipedia
Wikimedia

National Lead Company

What it did: It was founded in Philadelphia in 1772 and created Dutch Boy Paint in the early 1900s. Where it is now: It's now called NL Industries and is a lead-smelting company based in Houston, Texas. It was dropped from the Dow in 1916. Source: Wikipedia
Wikimedia

North American Company

What it did: It owned several public utilities and public rail companies. Where it is now: It was broken up by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1946 after Congress passed the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. It was dropped from the Dow in 1930. Source: Wikipedia
billjacobus1 via flickr

Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company

What it did: It was a steel manufacturer with interests in coal and iron-ore mining, as well as railroad operations. It was formed in 1852 in Tennessee. Where it is now: It merged with US Steel, its main competitor, in 1907. US Steel still operates its last plant in Alabama. It was dropped from the Dow in 1907. Source: Wikipedia
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

US Leather Company

What it did: It specialized in making leather and grew to be one of the largest companies in the US around the early 1900s. Where it is now: It was liquidated in 1952 and dropped from the Dow in 1928. Source: Wikipedia
Wikipedia

United States Rubber Company

What it did: The company manufactured tires including the "Tiger Paw." Where it is now: It was acquired by French tire-maker Michelin in 1990 after changing its name to Uniroyal and merging with another company. It was dropped from the Dow in 1928. Source: Wikipedia
REUTERS/Toby Melville

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