Andrew Carnegie lived from November 25, 1835 to August 11, 1919. Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, the son of a handloom weaver.
He was a Scottish-American business magnate, industrialist and philanthropist.
At age 13, tough times in Scotland forced the family to leave the country. The Carnegie’s emigrated to Allegheny, Pennsylvania in 1848.
Andrew’s first job, in 1848, was working as a bobbin boy at Anchor Cotton Mills. He changed spools of thread 12 hours a day, 6 days a week at a wage of $1.20 per week.
A year later, in 1849, Carnegie got a job as a telegraph messenger boy in the Pittsburgh Office of the Ohio Telegraph Company. His wage was $2.50 per week. Andrew was promoted to telegraph messenger a year later.
Carnegie was an avid reader. During his time in Pittsburg, he took advantage of access to the personal library of Colonel James Anderson, who opened his personal library to working boys.
Through perseverance and hard work, Andrew got a telegraph operator position in 1853, working for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at $4.00 per week. He was hired by Thomas A. Scott, a station agent.
The job with the railroad opened up much more growth possibilities than the telegraph company. At the age of 24, Carnegie was promoted by Scott to superintendent of the Western Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Carnegie made fifteen hundred dollars a year as superintendent.
Working for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company was vital to later success. Because railroads were the first big businesses in America. Carnegie gained many contacts and learned much valuable business experience.
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