Hepburn Act

The 1906 Hepburn Act gave the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) the power to set maximum railroad rates and led to the discontinuation of free passes to loyal shippers. It also opened railroads’ financial records to ICC inspection, a task simplified by standardized bookkeeping systems. For any railroad that resisted, the ICC’s conditions would remain in effect until the outcome of litigation said otherwise. By the Hepburn Act, the ICC’s authority was extended to cover bridges, terminals, ferries, sleeping cars, express companies and oil pipelines.

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