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

Andrew Carnegie’s decision to back up library construction developed outside of his very own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years on the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he listened to men read aloud and discuss books borrowed through the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create./research-paper Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but simply had to stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization of your textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father out of business. Consequently, a 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. Following a year from a textile factory, he became a messenger boy in the local telegraph company. Some 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 during which light of information streamed. In 1853, if your colonel’s representatives attempted to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter in to the editor of this Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the proper of working boys to have fun with the pleasures with the library. More vital, he resolved that, should he ever be wealthy, he makes similar opportunities available for other poor workers.

On the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune which could enable him to meet that pledge. During his years as being a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the skill of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts when using the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he went to work on age 18. During his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent of this Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in many other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to control the Keystone Bridge Company, that has been successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. From 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. Prior to 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, in which he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately for dependents, and distribute most of their riches to benefit the welfare and happiness for the common man–along with the consideration to assist only those who will help themselves. The Best Quality Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields in 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 general spread of information, and the promotion of world peace. Several of these organizations keep this very day: the Carnegie Corporation in Ny, for example, helps support Sesame Street.

Because of his background, Carnegie was particularly considering public libraries. At some point he stated a library was the very best gift to get a community, given it gave people the chance to improve themselves. His confidence was dependant upon the results of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, for instance, a library provided by Enoch Pratt were as used by 37,000 individuals one full year. Carnegie considered that the relatively small number of public library patrons were of more value to their own community rrn comparison to the masses who chose not to take advantage of the library.

Carnegie divided his donations to libraries into the retail and wholesale periods. All through 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 pools plus libraries. Within the years after 1896, called wholesale period, Carnegie no longer supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities that had limited a chance to access 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 most of the towns receiving gifts were during 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 on the existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report figured that being really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings ended up being provided, but now the time had come to staff them with professionals who would stimulate active, efficient libraries for their communities. Libraries already promised continued to get built until 1923, but after 1919 all financial support was turned into library education.

When Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 at age 84, he had given nearly one-fourth of his life to causes where he believed. His gifts to numerous charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 percent of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a means to boost people’s lives, and libraries provided without doubt 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 when he was young, and later in life? 2. What amount formal education did Carnegie have? What factors led to his desire for books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people ought to do utilizing their money? Why did he reckon that? Should you 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, To the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).

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