In the last half of the nineteenth century “capital” and “labor” were enlarging and perfecting their rival organizations on modern lines. Many an old firm was replaced by a limited liability company with a bureaucracy of salaried managers. The change met the technical requirements of the new age by engaging a large professional element and prevented the decline in efficiency that so commonly spoiled the fortunes of family firms in the second and third generation after the energetic founders. It was moreover a step away from individual initiative, towards collectivism and municipal and state-owned business. The railway companies, though still private business managed for the benefit of shareholders, were very unlike old family business. At the same time the great municipalities went into business to supply lighting, trams and other services to the taxpayers.