Andrew Carnegie’s decision to help with library construction developed beyond their own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years from the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he listened to men read aloud and discuss books borrowed on the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped review here Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but must stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization of your textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father through business. Due to this fact, the family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie pay a visit to work, his learning did not end.

Across the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that would enable him to satisfy that pledge. During his years as a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the art of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts because of the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he traveled to work at age 18. Throughout his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent from the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in various 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. Because of 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. Even 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, that he stated that wealthy men should live without extravagance, provide moderately with their dependents, and distribute most of their riches to profit the welfare and happiness of the common man–with the consideration to help solely those who will help themselves. The Best Quality Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields to 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 add in gifts that promoted scientific research, the overall spread of knowledge, plus the promotion of world peace. Many of those organizations will continue to this very day: the Carnegie Corporation in Ny, one example is, helps support Sesame Street.

On account of his background, Carnegie was particularly enthusiastic about public libraries. At some point he stated a library was the absolute best gift to get a community, given that it gave people the chance to improve themselves. His confidence was in accordance with the outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, as an example ,, a library given by Enoch Pratt were employed by 37,000 folks twelve months. Carnegie believed that the relatively few public library patrons were of more value in their community versus the masses who chose to not take advantage of the library.

Carnegie divided his donations to libraries inside 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 the usa. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities similar to swimming pools as well as libraries. Within the years after 1896, referred to as the wholesale period, Carnegie not supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities which had limited admittance 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 many of the towns receiving gifts were inside Midwest, altogether 46 states took advantage of Carnegie’s plan.

Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction carrying out a report designed to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 of your existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report concluded that to remain really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings had been provided, the good news is it was time to staff these people with pros who would stimulate active, efficient libraries inside their communities. Libraries already promised continued to get 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 by which he believed. His gifts to varied charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 % of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as an approach to raise people’s lives, and libraries provided undoubtedly one of his main tools that can help Americans generate a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both as he was young, and down the road? 2. Just how much formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his curiosity about books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people must do with the money? Why did he are convinced that? Do you ever agree? 4. How did supporting libraries fit with Carnegie’s past with his fantastic 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, For the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).