Andrew Carnegie’s decision to hold library construction developed out from his experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years within 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 were forced to stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization on the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father using business. Consequently, family members sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Andrew Carnegie’s decision to hold library construction developed out from his experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years within 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.official source Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but were forced to stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization on the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father using business. Consequently, family members sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie to attend work, his learning failed to end. Right after a year inside of a textile factory, he became a messenger boy to the local telegraph company. A number of his fellow messengers introduced him to Col. James Anderson of Allegheny, who every Saturday opened his personal library to your young worker who wished to borrow a manuscript. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows in which the sunshine of knowledge streamed. In 1853, if the colonel’s representatives aimed to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter into the editor within the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the ideal of the working boys to have enjoyment from the pleasures with the library. More vital, he resolved that, should he ever be wealthy, he will make similar opportunities suitable to other poor workers.
During the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that would enable him to meet that pledge. Throughout his years as a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the ability of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts while using the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he traveled to just work at age 18. Throughout his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent of the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in a number of other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to regulate the Keystone Bridge Company, that has been successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. From the 1870s he was centering 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. Just before selling Carnegie Steel he had started to consider how to deal with his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, in which he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately with regards to their dependents, and distribute the rest of their riches to help the welfare and happiness within the common man–aided by the consideration to help only those would you help themselves. The Most Beneficial Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields 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 feature gifts that promoted scientific research, the typical spread of knowledge, and then the promotion of world peace. Several of these organizations consistently this day: the Carnegie Corporation in The Big Apple, for instance, helps support Sesame Street.
Due to his background, Carnegie was particularly considering public libraries. At some point he stated a library was the very best gift for that community, simply because it gave people a chance to improve themselves. His confidence was in line with the results of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, to provide an example, a library offered by Enoch Pratt was basically applied by 37,000 individuals 12 month. Carnegie believed the relatively small number of public library patrons were more value to their community compared to the masses who chose to not ever take pleasure in the library.
Carnegie divided his donations to libraries straight into the retail and wholesale periods. Through the retail period, 1886 to 1896, he gave $1,860,869 for 14 endowed buildings in six communities in the nation. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities for example pools and even libraries. With the years after 1896, called wholesale period, Carnegie not any longer supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities that had limited use of cultural institutions. His gifts provided 1,406 towns with buildings devoted exclusively to libraries. Over half his grants were for under $10,000. Although most of the towns receiving gifts were in your Midwest, overall 46 states taken advantage of Carnegie’s plan.
Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction using a report manufactured to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 in the existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report determined that being really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings was basically provided, but this time it was time to staff them professionals who would stimulate active, efficient libraries into their communities. Libraries already promised continued as being 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 where by he believed. His gifts to several charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 % of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a technique to better people’s lives, and libraries provided an example of his main tools that will help Americans establish a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both as he was young, and in the future? 2. The amount of formal education did Carnegie have? What factors led to his fascination with books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people should do with their money? Why did he suspect that? On earth do you 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, Over the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).