Andrew Carnegie’s decision to hold library construction developed from their own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years in your coastal town of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he listened to men read aloud and discuss books borrowed coming from the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.essaycapitals Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but needed to stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization on the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father due to business. For that reason, family members 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. After having a year from a textile factory, he was a messenger boy for that local telegraph company. A few of his fellow messengers introduced him to Col. James Anderson of Allegheny, who every Saturday opened his personal library for any young worker who wished to borrow a guide. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows during which the sunshine of information streamed. In 1853, once the colonel’s representatives tried to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter into the editor within the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending an appropriate of the working boys to enjoy the pleasures of the library. More important, he resolved that, should he be wealthy, he makes similar opportunities open to other poor workers.
On the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune which could enable him to satisfy that pledge. During his years to be a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the art of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts along with the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he attended work at age 18. Throughout his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent with the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in numerous other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to control the Keystone Bridge Company, that was successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. From the 1870s he was being focused 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 begun to consider how to deal with his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, of which he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately with their dependents, and distribute the rest of their riches to profit the welfare and happiness of the common man–while using the consideration that may help just those who would help themselves. The Top 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 provide gifts that promoted scientific research, the overall spread of knowledge, along with the promotion of world peace. Many of these organizations go on to this day: the Carnegie Corporation in Ny, to illustrate, helps support Sesame Street.
Owing to his background, Carnegie was particularly focused on public libraries. At some time he stated a library was the best possible gift for one community, given it gave people the capability to improve themselves. His confidence was with regards to the outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, one example is, a library offered by Enoch Pratt had been made use of by 37,000 folks a year. Carnegie believed that the relatively few public library patrons were more value to the community as compared to the masses who chose not to ever enjoy the library.
Carnegie divided his donations to libraries 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 across the nation. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities for example swimming pools in addition to libraries. On 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 who had limited having access to cultural institutions. His gifts provided 1,406 towns with buildings devoted exclusively to libraries. Over half his grants were for less than $ten thousand. Although the vast majority of towns receiving gifts were in the Midwest, in total 46 states benefited from Carnegie’s plan.
Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction using a report built to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 of this existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report determined that to remain really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings ended up being provided, the good news is it was time to staff all of them experts who would stimulate active, efficient libraries in their own communities. Libraries already promised continued to become built until 1923, but after 1919 all financial support was looked to library education.
When Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 at age 84, he had given nearly one-fourth of his life to causes wherein he believed. His gifts to numerous charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 percent of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a technique to increase people’s lives, and libraries provided just one of his main tools to assist you to Americans set up a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both when he was young, and down the road? 2. Exactely how much formal education did Carnegie have? What factors led to his affinity for books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people needs to do because of their money? Why did he reckon that? Does one agree? 4. How did supporting libraries fit with Carnegie’s past and his awesome 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, In the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).