Andrew Carnegie

Burial Location Visited
Sleepy Hollow, New York May 22, 2010


In this secluded plot in Sleepy Hollow                                                                               Despite his vast wealth,
Cemetery rest industrialist Andrew Carnegie                                                                  Carnegie did not opt for a grand
and his wife, Louise. Carnegie became the                                                                     monument as a grave marker.
world's richest man in 1901 when he sold
                                                                       Many similar tombstones are
his steel company for $480 million.                                                                                     spread throughout the grounds.


The grave of Andrew Carnegie,                                                                      Andrew Carnegie gave away most of his
on the left. His steel was used in                                                                   fortune, putting the money toward many
making the Brooklyn Bridge and                                                                    philanthropic causes, like Carnegie Hall.
the Washington Monument, as
well as many of the nation's

*** Interesting Facts ***
 The life of Andrew Carnegie is the text book example of a rags to riches scenario. He was not from a wealthy family, but Carnegie was able to work his way to the very top and become the richest man in all the world. Carnegie was born in 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland, where his father worked as a handloom weaver. William Carnegie was too proud to work in a textile mill and operated from the first floor of his home, a decision that made his family suffer financially. Eventually, the situation for the Carnegies became so dire that they chose to emigrate to the United States and live in Pittsburgh, where Andrew's mother had relatives. However, life continued to be hard for the Carnegies in the USA, and they settled down in a slum in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Andrew, at age thirteen, found a job working in the boiler room of a thread factory, earning $1.20 per week. He later got a job as a telegraph messenger, which was something he enjoyed, as it allowed him to explore Pittsburgh. Carnegie was so efficient at his job that he was promoted to telegraph operator.

* Carnegie left his job as a telegraph operator in 1852 to become the assistant of Thomas Scott, an official at the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He rose to become the head of the western division of the business within a few years' time. It was around this time that Carnegie began to make investments with his money, all of which and more came back to him. A good portion of his income was invested in the Woodruff Sleeping Car Company, and the dividends from that business venture made for the first big sum of money Carnegie ever took in. Carnegie arranged a merger between Woodruff and the Pullman Sleeping Car Company, being sure to maintain the controlling interest in the business. He then became a shareholder in the Keystone Bridge Company, which constructed railroad bridges out of iron rather than wood. In 1864, Carnegie and some partners formed the Cyclops Iron Works, which merged with another firm soon after to create the Union Iron Works. His business dealings became so lucrative that he resigned from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in 1865.

* In 1867, Carnegie and his mother left Pennsylvania and moved to New York City. The next year, after calculating that he had a guaranteed annual income of $50,000, Carnegie vowed that he would give up business and dedicate his time to education and philanthropy once he turned thirty-five. The businessman did not keep to his promise, but he would make it up to society in the long run. Meanwhile, Carnegie continued to make big money. On a trip to England in 1872, he learned of the Bessemer process for making steel, which was a forced-air system that produced steel in tons. Upon seeing how much could be made with this method, Carnegie realized that steel was the future. From then on, that was what Carnegie focused on manufacturing. He created the Carnegie Steel Company, and used the process of vertical integration to make it a success. In vertical integration, a company controls each stage of production. By overseeing the entire process of steel production, from mining the raw materials to transporting the finished goods, Carnegie was able to limit waste and make a killing. He also used the latest and best technology to increase productivity and save money.

* A controversial moment in the industrialist's life was the Homestead Strike in 1892. That year, the labor agreement between the workers at the plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania and Carnegie Steel was up. When workers asked for an increase in pay, Henry Clay Frick, who was in charge of the operations of Carnegie Steel, cut wages by about 20%. Andrew Carnegie approved of Frick's methods and told him to use negotiations to break the union the workers belonged to. Carnegie was generally an advocate for laborers, being that he came from the working class, but felt that the actions of the union had been hurting his company. When negotiations could not be reached, Frick had a fence with barbed wire constructed around the plant, closed the facility, and called in three hundred Pinkerton guards to protect potential replacement workers, known as scabs. Violence quickly broke out between the residents of Homestead and the Pinkerton guards, resulting in deaths on both sides. Andrew Carnegie was on vacation in Scotland at the time, and it is unlikely that Frick told his partner most of the goings-on. When he returned, he was flabbergasted at what Frick had done and tried to make amends with workers. Still, the Homestead Strike remains a stain on Carnegie's record.

* It was in 1901 that Andrew Carnegie did something that would make him the richest person in the world. At this time, Carnegie was in a dispute with Henry Clay Frick over the latter's shares in the company. Feeling the feud could prove disastrous to Carnegie Steel, partner Charles Schwab talked with financier J.P. Morgan about buying out the company's holdings. With Morgan interested, Schwab approached Carnegie with the idea. After giving the idea some thought, he wrote his price down on a piece of paper and sent it off to Morgan. The financier agreed to the deal, and Carnegie was given $480 million, becoming the world's richest person. He did not simply sit back and enjoy his wealth, though. He believed that those who had money were supposed to use it for the betterment of mankind, a theory he explained in his essay The Gospel of Wealth. Large portions of his money were put toward public libraries, as he wished to endow future generations with knowledge. He had been philanthropic even before his deal with Morgan, and had Carnegie Hall built in 1890. By the time he passed away in 1919, the majority of his vast fortune was gone. His dream to enrich the lives of the populous for generations has come true, as people still benefit from the generosity of Andrew Carnegie today.

Spouse: Louise Whitfield Carnegie (1887-1919)

Last Words: Unknown
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