This study adds both knowledge and method in the writing of business history. The author proposes that a preliminary management audit can be devised and utilized to gather data, analyse and compare longitudinally the quality of management existing in organizations. This book modifies a methodological tool for measuring, analysing and comparing managements to aid in the writing of business history. It establishes criteria and examples of excellent management from a sample of the USA's first large-scale organization - the railroads. Prior to the 1870s the railroads were the only big business in the USA and the early ones emerged as a managerial problem which made obsolescent traditional structures and concepts and required effective management.