We live in a world of specialists. Today, choosing a career and deciding on the education to prepare for it are often discussed at an early age.
By the time a youngster reaches high school, numerous aptitude and achievement testes will have been taken. While these tests are by no means
certain, they do help to indicate the best direction to take in choosing a career. If one is to meet the challenge of the specialized skills that are required
today, it is ablolutely necessary to have a good education; without it, one is seriously handicapped.
Things were different in the 19th century. In those days the majority of people though little about formal education. During the middle years of that
century it was usual for very young boys to leave home and, with the consent of their parents, wonder over land and sea in search for adventure and
fortune. Most parents believed that a boy could learn about the world better from experience than from the books. Boys went to sea when they were
ten years old. If they could make "flapjacks" and eat their own cooking, they were hired as cooks at the age of 12. Others wondered around the west,
seeking to make their fortunes and find a new way of life. Some of those boys grew up tu be the inventors and industrialists who made important
contribution to North-America's growth.
While many inventors spent frustrating years in endless afforts to protect their rights, the industrialists, some of whom were also inventors, went on
to make fortunes in railroad, steel, mines, steam, oil and in many other fields. Many of those self-educated and self-made men later regretted their lack
of formal education. Perhaps this is why, when they became rich and sucessful, they founded colleges and established endorsements for scientific and
Andrew Carnegie grew up to be America's foremost steel magnate. But when he was fourteen years old, he was a helper in a cloth mill. Another
of America's industrialists was Jay Could, who became a railroad magnate. He invented a moustrap which he peddle until he had enough money with
which to make investments. He worked as a surveyor, ran a tannery, and at twenty-five began to buy up small railroad and study mathematics.
There were a number of such men at that time who, driven by ambition, fought their way to wealth and power. Some may not always have been
scrupulous in their business dealings, and some were distrusted by the American people. On the whole however, it must be admitted that these men
took great risks and played important roles in the American industrial development.
Some of the industrialists of that era were convinced that competition was unethical, disorderly, wasteful, and produced panics in the financial world.
They felt that small companies should be brought under the guidance of, or made part of large companies. In this way they favored the organization
of "trust" or large combinations. Among the men who looked at business that way were John D. Rockefeller, and
By The time Andrew Carnegie was thirty-three years old he was earning $50,000 a year. He had previosly made a resolution to retired at thirty-five,
and with such an incom he felt that he could do so. His desire was to go to England to get an Oxford education and to involve himself in public affairs in
connection with education and the improvement of the condition of the poor. But it was not easy to break away. Two years after he had made his
resolution to retire, he bedame a bond broker. He retired thirty-two years later.
Andrew Carnegie was born in Scottland, he came to North-America and at the age of thirteen went to work in a cotton mill. His wages were $1.20
a week. Since his father had been a waver, Andrew knew the working of the mills. By being tutored, he gained the eqivalent of a high school education
in mathematics and also learned book-keeping. The mill where he was employued gave him a bookkeeping job, but he soon became tired of it. The
railroad and the telegraph interested him. Andrew succeeded in getting work as a private telegraph messenger for Tom Scott
of the Pennsylvania Railroad at a salary of $35.00 a month. He carefully saved his money and later invested in a firm that made iron bridges for railroads.
By "pyramiding" or re-investing his profits, he was soon able to buy another firm that made axles for railroad cars. Carnegie became a sucessful salesman
for both companies. In time, he became the owner of the Union iron mills, which he planned to develop into the biggest iron-making company in the
In the 1870's the new Kelly-Bessemer process was being introduced for making steel from pig iron. Andrew Carnegie was strongly opposed to the
new process. Even when the Bessemer converter was brought to Pennsylvania, he stubbornly refused to have anything to do with it. It was during a trip
to England that Carnegie met Bessemer and saw the converter work. He is said to have been completly bewitched by the process. He caught the first
steamer back to America and burst into his Pittsburgh office with the cry: "The day of iron has passed! Steel is king!". One of his biographer
relates that Carnegie himself once suggested that an appropiate epitaph for him would be: "Here lies the man who was able to sorround himself with men
who were abler than he". It was on this theory that he built his steel business.
To lead his workman, he secured captain William Jones, a steel maker and inventor of processes. Jone's salary of $25,000.00 a year was equal to
that of the president of the United States at that time. Henry Frick, a maker of Coke, which was necessary in the manufacture of steel, was
Carnegie's partner. Frick worked out the idea of controlling all stages in the making of steel from mining the ore, through transportation, manufacturing,
and marketing. Carnegie's right hand man was Charles Schwab, in charge of public relations. It was a combination of men and great abilities who were
bound to succeed. By the time the 20th century downed, the Carnegie steel Company was making one-quarter of all the steel produced in the United
States. J. Pierpont Morgan, who believed in "consolidation" as a means to the orderly conduct of business, wanted to create a mammoth steel company.
Carnegie, with no sons to carry on steel activities, want to retire. Morgan bought the Carnegie Steel Company for $250,000,000.00. By acquiring other
steel companies he formed the giant United States Steel Corporation.
Carnegie had always believed that his wealth was only a trusteeship. With the sale of his mills, he was now in a position to set up foundations for many
porpuses; for research in varios fields, and the international peace, for education, for teaching, for colleges and libraries. There are over 2,000 Carnegie
libraries, which he called "warehouses for books", in the United States. This project afforded him paticular pleasure, for he had been too poor in his early
life to buy books. Andrew Carnegie disliked the word "Philanthropy." He did not believe that charity and impulsive generosity alleviated poverty
. Carnegie did feel, however, that it was the rich man's obligation to society to use his wealth for worthwhile social causes. For Carnegie, improvement
of the lives of the poor began by providing such facilities as libraries, parks, concert halls, museum and above all, education oportunities. By creating these
opportunities, those who worked hard could rise. to help provide these facilities, he set up foundations which had at their disposal $350,000,000.00.
The inheritors of the $125,000,000.00 Carnegie Corporation are the American, British and Canadian people. This grant is used for "The advancement
and diffusion of knowledge and understanding among the people of the United States, the British dominios and colonies." The $20,000,000.00 Carnegie
foundation for the advancement of teaching is "to uphold, dignify and encourage the profession of teaching and the cause of higher education within the
United States and Canada." Throughout the world, the Carnegie endorsment for international peace works to promote peace throug its research and
publications. To the city of New York Carnegie gave to New York, Carnegie Hall, where fine music and grant voices could be heard. Institute of
Technology in Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Institution in Washington D.C. were also endorsed by Carnegie. Founded to encourage research and discovery,
the Carnegie Institution is under the direction of eminent scientists in astronomy, the biological sciences and scholars of historical research.
The foundation endowed by Carnegie, together with those of Rockefeller and Ford, express the belief of these great Americans industrial magnates
that education and culture should be accessible; that this was the way to teach and inspire men to self-advancement.