Andrew Carnegie’s decision to assist library construction developed through his 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.look at here Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but had to stop after only three years. The rapid industrialization within the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father using business. Therefore, family members sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie to consult with work, his learning failed to end. Following a year with a textile factory, he was a messenger boy for any 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 book. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows during which the light of knowledge streamed. In 1853, the moment the colonel’s representatives tried to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter into the editor from the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the appropriate of all of the working boys to experience the pleasures for the library. More significant, he resolved that, should he ever be wealthy, he makes similar opportunities accessible to other poor workers.
Above the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that might enable him to fulfill that pledge. Throughout his years as an effective messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the art of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts using the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he visited 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 variety of other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to take care of the Keystone Bridge Company, which was successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. By way of the 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. 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, that he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately for his or her dependents, and distribute the remainder of their riches to profit the welfare and happiness in the common man–using the consideration for helping only those would you help themselves. The Ideal Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields that 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 overall spread of information, and also promotion of world peace. Many of these organizations always this very day: the Carnegie Corporation in The Big Apple, for example, helps support Sesame Street.
Thanks to his background, Carnegie was particularly serious about public libraries. At one point he stated a library was the very best gift to have a community, since it gave people the capability to improve themselves. His confidence was according to the outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, as an example ,, a library provided by Enoch Pratt ended up as used by 37,000 folks one full year. Carnegie thought that the relatively small number of public library patrons were more value in their community as opposed to the masses who chose to not ever gain benefit from the library.
Carnegie divided his donations to libraries straight into the retail and wholesale periods. In 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 similar to swimming pools and also libraries. While in the years after 1896, called the wholesale period, Carnegie will no longer supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities who had limited accessibility 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 a lot of the towns receiving gifts were within the Midwest, in total 46 states taken advantage of Carnegie’s plan.
Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction after having a report manufactured to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 for the existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report concluded that as being really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings has been provided, the good news is it was time to staff all of them professionals who would stimulate active, efficient libraries into their communities. Libraries already promised continued to be 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 of which he believed. His gifts to several charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 percent of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a means to enhance people’s lives, and libraries provided certainly one of his main tools to aid Americans create 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. How much formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his interest on books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people ought to do in relation to their money? Why did he believe? Does one agree? 4. How did supporting libraries match Carnegie’s past and the 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, At the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).