Andrew Carnegie: Facts, History, Timeline: Life, Biography, Achievements, Pictures: 
Robber Baron, Steel Industry: Homestead Strike:  Philanthropy: Gospel of Wealth, Contributions

Research Topics Presentation Tips History Essays Carnegie, Andrew

Andrew Carnegie was a Robber Baron. He worked his way up from a Bobbies boy at a plant to an Industrial Tycoon.

Carnegie chanced to see a new method for making steel in England called the Bessemer process. The Bessemer process greatly reduced the cost of making steel. Carnegie went back to the United States and started making steel using the Bessemer process. He bought up every phase of the steel industry from the beginning to the end of the process. His steel went into the making of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Washington monument. Steel became readily available. Skyscrapers began to change the skyline of cities like New York City.

During the American Civil War, Andrew Carnegie left his position as superintendent of the Pittsburg Division, Pennsylvania Railroad to pitch in with workers rebuilding the rail line from Annapolis to Washington. Later in 1861 he was given the position of superintendent of military railways and government telegraph. While working for the Pennsylvania Railroad, he introduced sleeping cars.

Robber Baron

Carnegie is said to be a Robber baron because he did what ever was necessary to succeed which included exploiting workers and others. He would lay off workers or close mills to cut prices. He sold out to JP Morgan for 400 million dollars. JP Morgan created US steel after buying up 8 other competitors of Carnegie.

History Timeline of Life

  • Born Nov. 25, 1835 in Dunfermline Fife Scotland
  • died August 11 1919 in Lenox Massachusetts
  • 1848 - Immigrated to America and settled in Allegheny PA (Pittsburgh)
  • Worked in a cotton factory, then as a engine tender, telegraph messenger and operator
  • 1853-65 - Worked for Pennsylvania Railroad
  • In 1864, he bought Storey farm on Oil Creek PA which produced a lot of Oil.
  • In 1873, He started the Keystone Bridge Company and concentrated on Steel production.
  • By 1888, he controlled an extensive plant operations.
  • In 1889, Wrote the Gospel of Wealth
  • In 1892, there was a depression. However, the company flourished due to favorable tariff legislation even though there was a bloody strike by Homestead workers.
  • In 1901, the company was incorporated in the United States Steel Corporation.
  • In 1901, Carnegie retired and devoted the rest of his life to Philanthropy.
  • Established many foundations and endowments for education and research

American Dream

Carnegie created the Gospel of Wealth in which he believed that the wealthy should give back to the community. He built libraries, gave to the poor and even gave to the peace movement prior to WWI. Other robber barons followed his example The Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and other wealthy barons gave back huge amounts of money to the community for charitable causes.

Carnegie became a symbol of the American dream. Prior to Carnegie’s rags to riches story, the American dream was to own land and a farm. After Carnegie’s success, the American dream was to become filthy rich. Anyone could do it with a lot of hard work. 10 cent books were written about rags to riches stories.

Homestead Strike

The borough of Homestead PA development was due to the Carnegie steel company growth. The steelworks here were the site of the Homestead strike of July 1892. The strikers were wanting to form a union. Company guards were hired through the Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. They fought a pitched battle with strikers who controlled the town.  State militia were sent in to stop the trouble. Because of the outcome of this strike, unionization of the steelworkers was halted for about 40 years.

Summary of the Gospel of Wealth: Philanthropy: Quotes

The Gospel of Wealth was a famous essay he wrote in 1889 in which he stated that a rich man should distribute any surplus of his wealth for the general welfare. In this essay, he says quote: "A man who dies rich dies disgraced" end quote.

Contributions to Society/Accomplishments/Achievements

  • Vast number of public libraries in the US and abroad.
  • Carnegie Institute of Technology Mellon University in Pittsburgh
  • Carnegie Institute in Washington DC
  • A trust fund to help Scottish Universities
  • Benefactor to Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee Alabama
  • Created Large pension funds to Homestead workers
  • Funds for recognition of heroic deeds
  • financed the erection of the Temple of Peace at the Hague in the Netherlands
  • Financed the Pan American Palace in Washington DC

Common Questions and Answers

Question: How did Andrew Carnegie make his money? Answer: In the Steel Industry

Question: How did Andrew Carnegie treat his workers: Answer: He exploited them, he did whatever necessary to make a profit. However, he established large pension funds for Homestead workers.

Question: What was Andrew Carnegie view of labor unions? Answer: He was a businessman. His primary interest was profit. He exploited his workers and worked them for as little as possible even though he did give back to the community. He evidently did not approve of labor unions cause it effected his profit. When the Homestead strike occurred, rather than negotiating and allowing a union to form, Carnegie had the strike crushed by force which subdued any union organization.

topic:  Andrew Carnegie Facts


Andrew Carnegie Pictures

Andrew Carnegie picture

Andrew Carnegie photo