Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Carnegie, Andrew
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|Edition of 1900. Written by Mrs. Vincenzo Botta. See also Andrew Carnegie on Wikipedia, and our Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography disclaimer.|
CARNEGIE, Andrew, manufacturer, b. in Dunfermline, Scotland, 25 Nov., 1835. His father was a weaver, in humble circumstances, whose ambition to raise himself and family, joined to his ardent republicanism, led to his coming to the United States in 1845. The family settled in Pittsburgh, and two years later Andrew began his career by attending a small stationary engine. This work was unsatisfactory, and he became a telegraph messenger with the Atlantic and Ohio company, and subsequently an operator. He was one of the first to read telegraphic signals by sound. Later he was sent to the Pittsburgh office of the Pennsylvania railroad, as clerk to the superintendent and manager of the telegraph-lines. While in this position he met Mr. Woodruff, inventor of the sleeping-car. Mr. Carnegie immediately recognized the great merit of the invention, and readily joined in the effort to have it adopted. The success of this venture gave him the nucleus of his wealth. He was promoted to be superintendent of the Pittsburgh division of the Pennsylvania railroad; and about this time he was one of a syndicate who purchased the Storey farm, on Oil creek, which cost $40,000, and yielded in one year over $1,000,000 in cash dividend's. Mr. Carnegie was subsequently associated with others in establishing a rolling-mill, and from this has grown the most extensive and complete system of iron and steel industries ever controlled by an individual, embracing the Edgar Thomson steel works, the Pittsburgh Bessemer steel works, the Lucy furnaces, the Union iron mills, the Union mill (Wilson, Walker & Co.), the Keystone bridge works, the Hartman steel works, the Frick coke company, and the Scotia ore mines. The capacity of these works approximates 2,000 tons of pig-metal a day, and he is the largest manufacturer of pig-iron, steel-rails, and coke in the world. Besides directing these great iron industries, he long owned eighteen English newspapers, which he controlled in the interests of radicalism. He has devoted large sums of money to benevolent and educational purposes. In 1879 he erected commodious swimming-baths for the use of the people of Dunfermline, Scotland, and in the following year gave $40,000 for the establishment there of a free library, which has since received other large donations. In 1884 he gave $50,000 to Bellevue hospital medical college to found a histological laboratory, now called the Carnegie laboratory; in 1885, $500,000 to Pittsburgh for a public library, and in 1886, $250,000 to Allegheny City for a music hall and library, and $250,000 to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a free library. He has also established free libraries at Braddock, Pa., and at other places, for the benefit of his employés. Mr. Carnegie is a frequent contributor to periodicals on the labor question and similar topics, and has published in book-form “An American Four-in-Hand in Britain” (New York, 1883); “Round the World” (1884); and “ Triumphant Democracy: or, Fifty Years' March of the Republic” (1886), the last being a review of American progress under popular institutions. — His brother, Thomas M., b. in Dunfermline, Scotland, 2 Oct., 1843; d. in Homewood, Pa., 19 Oct., 1886, was associated with Andrew in his business enterprises.