Andrew Carnegie And His Life Essay

909 words - 4 pages

Lance BrumfieldMs. DeckAmerican History7th periodAndrew CarnegieAndrew Carnegie was born in Scotland in 1835. He was the son of a weaver and a radical political figure. After power looms began to replace hand weaving the family decide it was time to move. His father taught Carnegie of political and economic equality. Then, when he moved to American in 1848, he was determined to change his family's social standing. They were able to come to America by selling all their belongings and borrowing more money. They moved to Pittsburgh. At that time Pittsburgh was covered with soot, scorched by fire, and foul with industrial waste. In fact it was so bad Carnegie's optimism faded and he said, "The smoke permeated and penetrated everything... If you washed your face and hands they were as dirty as ever in an hour. The soot gathered in the hair and irritated the skin, and for a time... life was more or less miserable. They moved into a flimsy, dark, and run down house that was opposite of what they were use to in Scotland. Carnegie got a job in a cotton mill and then began working in a telegraph office where he taught himself how to send messages. In 1853, he became a telegraph officer for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He later became a secretary for one of the railroads superintendents. Eventually, Carnegie surpassed his superintendent. Then, during the Civil War he helped telegraph services for the Union Army. Although the city was a slum it was a perfect example of capitalism at work. It helped drive the American economy.Carnegie's wealth began while he was working for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He began purchasing stock in certain iron companies like the Keystone Bridge Company. He also bought stock in oil companies and railroad car companies. He then traveled Europe selling bonds to European investors where he realized the steel business would grow. The Bessemer process allowed this to occur. Before this time steel production was expensive and inefficient. Although the Bessemer process was not an invention of Carnegie's he still obtained a paten in the United States. The Bessemer process is the process by which pig iron is turned into steel. It involves a container in which impurities are oxidized and are removed as a substance called slag. Some impurities are burned off and others are released into the atmosphere. This process can be completed in fifteen to twenty minutes. This new process revolutionized the steel industry. Soon after Carnegie received his paten a large amount of iron ore was discovered in Minnesota and Carnegie took full advantage. Due to the introduction of cheap steel a steel revolution had begun. Anything that could be made of steel was. This especially helped the railroad industry. Since iron was so soft it could...

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