Personal Finance – Lesson 18
Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline Scotland and was the very essence of poverty. His mother worked all day sewing shoes in a shoe making factory, and his father worked in a weaving factory hand weaving cloths and fabrics on looms. Sadly their poverty increased as the Industrial Revolution came about and hand looms were replaced by steam powered looms which were much more efficient and didn’t need time off. So the Carnegie family sold all of their belongings and moved to America, specifically Pittsburg. They hoped they could start again and make a steady income. But sadly it did not go as well as they had hoped. So young Andrew dropped out of school and found a job in a boiler room which did not pay very much and was scorching hot. He eventually found a better job delivering telegraphs on a bike. After a long time of listening to the morse code he began to be able to decipher it with out having to write it down so he was much more efficient. He also tried to remember peoples faces and names so he could greet them by name and be recognized. And at 17 years of age he was soon noticed by a man named Thomas Scott who worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He hired Andrew as his personal calligrapher and secretary. He learned a lot of information on how to run a successful business. And after the Civil War he made his own business making iron bridges and profited greatly. He also owned the company that made the iron for the bridges and a company that made rails for railroads. So owning that combo he soon became very wealthy. After that he moved to New York and opened a steel factory and that business eventually made more steel than all of England. Then at 70 he sold the company he had worked on most of his life to J.P.Morgan and became the richest man in the world. After he retired he spent the rest of his life giving away his vast fortune, he donated over 2500 libraries to many towns.