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Was Andrew Carnegie a Robber Baron or Captain of Industry?
Transcript of Was Andrew Carnegie a Robber Baron or Captain of Industry?
Robber Baron or Captain of Industry?
Acquiring His Wealth
Captain Industry or Robber Baron?
How he felt about business and competition.
Andrew Carnegie's first job at age 13 in 1848 was as a bobbin boy, changing spools of thread in a cotton mill 12 hours a day, 6 days a week in a Pittsburgh cotton factory. His payment for that was $1.20 per week. In 1850, Carnegie then became a telegraph messenger boy in the Pittsburgh Office of the Ohio Telegraph Company, at $2.50 per week. Andrew then becomes the personal telegrapher and assistant to Thomas Scott, the superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad's western division. Carnegie takes out a loan from a local bank and invests $217.50 in the Woodruff Sleeping Car Company. After about two years, he begins receiving a return of about $5000 annually; more than three times his salary from the railroad.
He was born in Scotland and emigrated into the U.S.
He is a captain of the industry because he was an innovator, he gave back a lot by making Carnegie Hall and making many colleges. In 1902 Carnegie founded the "Carnegie Institution" to fund scientific reasearch, he also established a pension fund for teachers with a $10 Million dollar donation. Carnegie gave money to towns and cities he built more than 2,000 libraries. Carnegie also gave $125 Million to a foundation called the "Carnegie Corporation" which aided colleges and other schools.
His factory workers were underpaid and worked long shifts in poorly ventilated, dirty, and unsafe environments. After the heat of unions riding up his back, Carnegie made some improvements as to how his laborers were treated in the factories.
At age 65, he sold the Carnegie Steel Company to J. P. Morgan for $480 million and devoted the rest of his life to giving nearly all of his money away. He donated more than $56 million to build 2,509 libraries throughout the world, many of which are still serving their communities. By the time Carnegie died in 1919, he had given away more than $350 million, almost 90 percent of his entire wealth. In conclusion Carnegie wanted to become immune to his competition by dominating them.
Carnegie wanted to become immune to his competition by dominating them. When Carnegie felt that he had successfully blended his businesses he moved to expand further. If Carnegie eliminated competition, it was not by buying out his competitors the way Rockefeller did. It was primarily because he could make steel at a lower cost than any other producer.