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Andrew Carnegie Essay

1247 words - 5 pages

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie was born in Dumferline, Scotland, in November of 1935. His parents were Will and Margaret Carnegie. He also had a brother, Tom. The main income for the geographic location where he grew up was weaving linen. The people who engaged in this type of employment considered this an art since it had relatively unchanged since medieval times. Andrew's father was one of those craftsmen. Since there had been so little change in this type of work, they were really caught off guard when machine production came around. For some, this industrialization was good. The Carnegies were lead to believe that this was the way they should be headed. At first the returns were good for them, but prices and demand fell, and they were left without anything. The whole looming industry was virtually gone; and with that, it was clear that there would be no trade for Andrew to learn. They had received letters from time to time about the possibility of work in America. After the looms fell through for them, they realized that they didn't have much of a choice of what to do. So, they borrowed the money for the voyage from Scotland to New York in the hopes of having a fresh start. Losing everything they had didn't sit well with Andrew or his mother. The family left in shame and determined to make it in their new environment.

Upon arriving they immediately set out for work. Will found door-to-door work with a loom, Margaret with shoe binding, and Andrew found work as a bobbin boy in a local textile mill. Andrew was a hard worker and had the ability to adapt to any type of work. He was offered a job as a messenger boy for a telegraph company and he jumped at the opportunity to get out of the terrible conditions of the mill. Andrew seemed to be in the right place at the right time for his advances. He was also willing to do anything to succeed. He was working long hours and still had the drive to attend classes. With the messenger job, Carnegie not only was able to "network" with most everyone, but he kind of knew how to manipulate or pursued people; he learned how to say what people wanted to hear. Carnegie was making steps toward becoming successful in whatever he did.

From the factory to office boy, messenger, part and full time telegrapher, Carnegie seemed to be destined for greatness. Because of Andrew's abilities and understanding of the telegraph system, he was offered a job by one of Pennsylvania Railroad's superintendent of its western division, Tom Scott. He hired Carnegie to be his personal telegrapher and to assist him in dispatching trains over the western division's mountainous main line. Here Andrew was able to really maximize the opportunity set before him. He did public relations work, observations into how shipments were made and received, and mastered the controlling of the division's operations. In 1859, Scott was promoted to vice-president and appointed Carnegie superintendent of the western division. This was...

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