Andrew Carnegie

Essay by SSTYLES36 May 2004

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Andrew Carnegie Essay written by A man of Scotland, a distinguished citizen of the United States, and a philanthropist devoted to the betterment of the world around him, Andrew Carnegie became famous at the turn of the twentieth century and became a real life rags to riches story. Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on November 25, 1835, Andrew Carnegie entered the world in poverty. The son of a hand weaver, Carnegie received his only formal education during the short time between his birth and his move to the United States. When steam machinery for weaving came into use, Carnegie's father sold his looms and household goods, sailing to America with his wife and two sons. At this time, Andrew was twelve, and his brother, Thomas, was five. Arriving into New York on August 14, 1848, aboard the Wiscasset from Glasgow, the Carnegies wasted little time settling in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, where relatives already existed and were there to provide help.

Allegheny City provided Carnegie's first job, as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory, working for $1.20 a week. His father also worked there while his mother bound shoes at home, making a miniscule amount of money. Although the Carnegies lacked in money, they abounded in ideals and training for their children. At age 15, Carnegie became a telegraph messenger boy in Pittsburgh. He learned to send and decipher telegraphic messages and became a telegraph operator at the age of 17. Carnegie's next job was as a railroad clerk, working for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He worked his way up the ladder, through his dedication and honest desire to succeed, to become train dispatcher and then division manager. At this time, young Carnegie, age 24, had already made some small investments that laid the foundations of...