Andrew Carnegie’s decision to help library construction developed outside of his personal experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years from the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he heard men read aloud and discuss books borrowed on the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create. Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but had to stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization of this textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father away from business. As a consequence, the family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Andrew Carnegie’s decision to help library construction developed outside of his personal experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years from the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he heard men read aloud and discuss books borrowed on the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.additional info Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but had to stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization of this textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father away from business. As a consequence, the family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie to consult with work, his learning failed to end. Right after a year in a very textile factory, he became a messenger boy for the local telegraph company. Some of his fellow messengers introduced him to Col. James Anderson of Allegheny, who every Saturday opened his personal library to the young worker who wished to borrow a guide. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows whereby the sunlight of information streamed. In 1853, as soon as the colonel’s representatives made an effort to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter to your editor on the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending an appropriate of all working boys have fun with the pleasures of your library. More important, he resolved that, should he ever be wealthy, he will make similar opportunities provided to other poor workers.
Across the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune which could enable him to satisfy that pledge. Throughout his years to provide a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the ability of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts while using the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he went to work at age 18. During his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent for the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in several other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to take care of the Keystone Bridge Company, that had been successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. With the 1870s he was focusing on steel manufacturing, ultimately creating the Carnegie Steel Company. In 1901 he sold that business for $250 million.
Carnegie then retired and devoted the remainder of his life to philanthropy. Before selling Carnegie Steel he had begun to consider what to do with his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, through which he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately regarding their dependents, and distribute most of their riches to profit the welfare and happiness from the common man–aided by the consideration that will help just those who would help themselves. The Top Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields in which the wealthy should donate: universities, libraries, medical centers, public parks, meeting and concert halls, public baths, and churches. He later expanded this list to provide gifts that promoted scientific research, the actual spread of information, additionally, the promotion of world peace. Several of these organizations continue to this day: the Carnegie Corporation in Ny, to illustrate, helps support Sesame Street.
Caused by his background, Carnegie was particularly considering public libraries. At one point he stated a library was the very best gift for a community, given that it gave people the opportunity to improve themselves. His confidence was in accordance with the results of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, for example, a library distributed by Enoch Pratt ended up being utilized by 37,000 people a year. Carnegie believed the relatively small number of public library patrons were more value for their community compared to masses who chose to not ever benefit from the library.
Carnegie divided his donations to libraries directly into the retail and wholesale periods. While in the retail period, 1886 to 1896, he gave $1,860,869 for 14 endowed buildings in six communities in america. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities for instance swimming pools plus libraries. With the years after 1896, known as wholesale period, Carnegie not anymore supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities who had limited entry to cultural institutions. His gifts provided 1,406 towns with buildings devoted exclusively to libraries. Over half his grants were cheaper than $ten thousand. Although a lot of the towns receiving gifts were in the Midwest, altogether 46 states took advantage of Carnegie’s plan.
Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction after having a report meant to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 of this existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report determined that to be really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings has been provided, but this time the time had come to staff all of them with pros who would stimulate active, efficient libraries for their communities. Libraries already promised continued to remain built until 1923, but after 1919 all financial support was turned to library education.
When Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 at age 84, he had given nearly one-fourth of his life to causes during which he believed. His gifts to numerous charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 % of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a way to better people’s lives, and libraries provided one among his main tools to assist Americans generate a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both when he was young, and later in life? 2. Simply how much formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his fascination with books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people needs to do with regards to their money? Why did he reckon that? Do you really agree? 4. How did supporting libraries fit with Carnegie’s past along with his beliefs? Reading 1 was compiled from George S. Bobinski, Carnegie Libraries (Chicago: American Library Association, 1969); Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, reprint (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1920 1986); Barry Sears, About the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).