Andrew Carnegie - A Famous Scottish-American Industrialist & Philanthropist
Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1919) first worked as a weaver's assistant in a cotton factory and then became a telegraph operator on the Pennsylvania Railroad. He eventually rose to become private secretary to Thomas A. Scott, the superintendent of the Pittsburgh division. He established the basis of his own fortune by introducing sleeping cars and by aquiring oil-bearing lands near Oiul City. This was a springboard to what became his primary interest after 1873, the building up of the steel industry. At that time conditions were particularly favourable to daring private initiative after the Civil War (1861 - 1865), with the opening up of the west and with the development of railways and industires in the east.
When he consolidated all his interests in the Carnegie Steel Company in 1889, his company dominated the American market. Amongst other things he was responsible for the introduction of the Bessemer process for producing steel more economically from olten iron. On his retirement in 1901, Carnegie sold his company to the United States Steel Corporation for $447,000,000.
A staunch individualist, he attributed his success to his organising ability and to shrewdness in his choice of colleagues. After his retirement Carnegie gave vast sums of money to various charities and public organisations; more than £10,000,000 was handed over for the foundation of libraries in English-speaking countries; £2,000,000 was given in 1901 to provide the fes for students in Scotland. He also gave vast sums to the Carnegie Corporation in New York and the Carnegie Institution in Washington, to promote educational standards and exchanges between different countries, and to provide financial assistance to research workers and educational establishments.
The Carnegie Trust for Universitites of Scotland was founded in 1901, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1906, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1910, the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust in 1914, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York with $125,000,000 to suuport his benefactions after his death.