Andrew Carnegie’s decision to back up library construction developed from his personal experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years during the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he heard men read aloud and discuss books borrowed via the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.try these out Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but been required to stop after only three years. The rapid industrialization of your textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father using business. Because of this, the family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie to travel to work, his learning failed to end. After a year from a textile factory, he became a messenger boy for those local telegraph company. Several 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 book. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows through which the sunshine of knowledge streamed. In 1853, after the colonel’s representatives tried to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter in to the editor belonging to the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending an appropriate of all the working boys to savor the pleasures of this library. More vital, he resolved that, should he ever be wealthy, he makes similar opportunities provided to other poor workers.
Through the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that may enable him to fulfill that pledge. During his years to be a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the ability of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts using the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he attended work on age 18. During his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent within 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 look after the Keystone Bridge Company, which was successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. By your 1870s he was paying attention to 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 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 live without extravagance, provide moderately with regard to dependents, and distribute the rest of their riches to help the welfare and happiness from the common man–using the consideration that may help solely those would you help themselves. The Right 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 gifts that promoted scientific research, the typical spread of knowledge, plus the promotion of world peace. Some of these organizations continue to keep this day: the Carnegie Corporation in New York, to provide an example, helps support Sesame Street.
Owing to his background, Carnegie was particularly looking into public libraries. At some time he stated a library was the best possible gift for that community, since it gave people the cabability to improve themselves. His confidence was depending on the outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, for example, a library provided by Enoch Pratt have been employed by 37,000 people in twelve months. Carnegie considered that the relatively few public library patrons were of more value with their community versus the masses who chose never to take pleasure in the library.
Carnegie divided his donations to libraries in to the retail and wholesale periods. During 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 which include private pools along with libraries. From the years after 1896, called the wholesale period, Carnegie not supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities that had limited entry to cultural institutions. His gifts provided 1,406 towns with buildings devoted exclusively to libraries. Over half his grants were for less than $10,000. Although a lot of the towns receiving gifts were during the Midwest, as a whole 46 states took advantage of Carnegie’s plan.
Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction using a report intended to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 with the 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 was provided, but this time the time had come to staff all of them experts who would stimulate active, efficient libraries in their own communities. Libraries already promised continued as being built until 1923, but after 1919 all financial support was considered library education.
When Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 at age 84, he had given nearly one-fourth of his life to causes in which he believed. His gifts to various charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 % of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a way to boost people’s lives, and libraries provided certainly one of his main tools to assist Americans create a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both when he was young, and in the future? 2. The amount formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his need for books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people must do in relation to their money? Why did he believe that? Does a person agree? 4. How did supporting libraries match 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, Around the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).