Ida Tarbell was born on November 5, 1857 in her grandfathers log cabin in Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Esther Ann and Franklin Summer Tarbell, a teacher and a jointer that used his trade to start building wooden oil barrels and storage tanks. Tarbell went on to graduate from Allegheny College and majored in Biology. She then proceeded to become a teacher at the Poland Union Seminary teaching all four languages, Geology, Botany, Geometry, and Trigonometry. After Tarbell had returned from paras, she began research on the oil company's in 1900. in 1904 after much research and help from her assistant, John Siddall, Tarbell published her most famous book, The History of The Standard Oil Company. Tarbell's book soon proved to be one of the most influential books ever written about big business and the Standard Oil Company.