Before Carnegie Became a Tycoon
When the average person thinks of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the first thing that comes to mind is either there sports teams or that it is the birthplace of mass-produced steel. Steel is what made Pittsburgh such a major city in today’s world; without steel, it would be a normal suburban city. It only took one person to make Pittsburgh such a major thriving city, Andrew Carnegie. Without him, Pittsburgh would not be as advanced as it is today. Without Andrews’s passion we could possibly not have steel. Ever since Andrew was a child he put his full effort into everything he did. He was taught to never give up and keep going forward with life. If he had slacked off even one day while working as a messenger boy or a telegraph operator he may not have died as a steel tycoon, or one of the brightest entrepreneurs that America has ever seen.
“It was a cold and rainy night in Dunfermline,” As Joseph Wall said as he describes Andrew Carnegie’s birth. Wall gives a very detailed description of Andrew in the biography he wrote about him. It was the 25th of November in 1835, on the corner of Moodie Street and Priory lane in Scotland lived a married couple named William and Margret Carnegie in a one-story cottage. It was around ten o’clock at night when the mid-wife came running down the attic stairs to tell the busy Damask Weaver that he just gave birth to his first healthy son. Later, they would name their baby Andrew after William’s father (Wall 3). Little did they know, that Andrew would become a multi billionaire. Andrew can greatly thank the industrial revolution that swept through Scotland, because if it never happened Andrew would of not made it to America to make millions. A new era approached Scotland leading to steam powered cotton gins. This put Andrews father out of business, and lead the Carnegies with nothing left (wall65). With nothing else to-do, they sold all they owned. They put the money toward boat tickets going to America. On May 17, 1848 the Carnegies left Scotland with their sights on a new beginning (wall71). They were headed for New York City and from there they would leave for Allegheny city. It was a fifteen-day trip from Scotland to America on a cargo ship called the Wiscasset (wall71). On the boat ride, the boat and how it operated fascinated Andrew. He wanted to know everything about it. He spent his time as a volunteer deck hand; he was taught how to do simple thing on the boat to help it run. The boat operators told him what to do and they greatly appreciated the extra hand (Wall73). Upon their arrival in New York City, one of the deck hands offered to take Andrew for a sarsaparilla, As Andrew recalled from his autobiography. It was in the parlor, where a brass spout that poured out the sarsaparilla caught Andrew’s eye (Carnegie 27). When he saw this he did not connect it to steel or metal, he just took gazed upon the beauty of it. This love for metal materials continued on to his tycoon years of steel.
From New York City, they took a three-week ferry trip down the Erie Canal to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was in Pittsburgh that they met Margret’s sister who had an apartment for them to live in for free, as author John Winkler claimed in his book Incredible Carnegie. In Pittsburgh, Andrews’s intelligence grew with everything he came into contact with. In the book Lockout Story of the Homestead Strike in 1892 written by Leon Wolff, it talks about mainly about the homestead strikes, but has a chapter dedicated to how Andrew got his start in America. Wolff claimed that the family was struggling to make ends meet so Andrew went out and got his first job as a bobbin boy at Blackstock Cotton Mill, where he made $1.20 per week, which he gave to his mom to help the family. He thought he was on top of the world for being on a payroll before he was 13 years old. He was on his way to millions at a young age. The only thing that would make Andrew happier would be the...
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