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Andrew Carnegie

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"The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled," these wise words were spoken by one of the greatest American businessman, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie's life was the model of the "American Dream", coming from rags to riches, from immigrant to multi-millionaire.

Born on November 25, 1835, in Dunfermline, Scotland. Andrew Carnegie was the first son of William Carnegie, a linen weaver and local political leader and of Margaret Carnegie a passionate woman that was driven to make her family become successful. Even though he had little formal education, he grew up in a family that believed in the value of books and learning.

In 1848, the family left Scotland and decided to live in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. Carnegie's father found a job in a cotton factory, but he soon quit to go back to his home handloom, making linens and trying to sell them door-to-door. Many influences formed Carnegie's personality, including his Scottish roots and his family's struggle with poverty, but the most influential of all was most likely his mother Margaret who was the backbone of his family. Carnegie's mother taught him the frugality that he would become famous for later on his life.

Most of all kids learn from their parents. As a child, Andrew Carnegie learned ideals from both of his mother and father. But their values were very different and often contradict each other. From his father, Andrew found out the value of helping those who are less fortunate. Carnegie's father, was part of a British working class movement in Scotland, which

believed in making conditions better for the workingman. William Carnegie died at the age of 51, when Andrew was 20 years old and the only source of income for the family. Carnegie's mother taught him that he needed to put his own needs before those of others in order to survive. When he was 13, Carnegie went to work as a bobbin boy in a local textile mill. He made $1.20 a week. Thereafter he got a better paying type of work in a bobbin factory. His job was dipping the bobbins into an oil bath and starting up the factory boiler. He also got to work in the Company office on occasion where he decided he needed to learn bookkeeping. As a result, in working 12 hour days. He quickly became Americanized, educating himself by reading and writing and attending night school. When Andrew turned 14, he became a messenger in a telegraph office, where Thomas Scott noticed him. Scoot was a superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. During 1850, Andrew Carnegie began working at a telegraph company as a messenger boy, but he displayed such drive and desire that he was promoted to a telegraph operator within a year. Although working at the telegraph company, Carnegie made important connections that would help him later on in life build his business empire.

Over the next couple of years, he continued to further his career and increase his income significantly by remaining at the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and beginning to invest his earnings. He initially invested in Woodruff Sleeping Cars and then turned his attention to the oil industry. Both investments provided significant profit. In 1865, Carnegie retired from the railroad and created the Keystone Bridge Company. The company visualized building bridges with iron, rather than wood, to make them more durable. Plans changed when, in 1872, Carnegie traveled to England to visit Henry Bessemer's steel plants. There he realized the development and potential for the steel business and returned to the United States with a plan to expand his business enterprise in the steel industry.

In a business perspective, Andrew Carnegie was a genius in making a profit. Carnegie's formula for success included hard work, attention to detail and an ability to hire and trust upon qualified help. Carnegie also was a sharp observer of human nature. , He named the first steel facility



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