Andrew Carnegie
Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2005


Astro-Rayological Interpretation & Charts
Images and Physiognomic Interpretation

to Volume 3 Table of Contents


Andrew Carnegie—Industrialist, Philanthropist

November 25, 1835, Dunfermline, Scotland, 5:00 AM, LMT or 6:00 AM, LMT. (Sources: Sabian Symbols and Notable Nativities) Died, August 11, 1919, Lennox, Massachusetts

(Ascendant, in both instances, Scorpio with Saturn and Mercury in Scorpio; Saturn is on the Ascendant of the earlier chart and Mercury on the Ascendant of the later; Sun widely conjunct Mars in Sagittarius, Mars widely conjunct Venus in Sagittarius; Moon conjunct Neptune in Aquarius; Uranus also in Aquarius; Jupiter as a singleton in Cancer in H9; Pluto in Aries)          

Starting from abject poverty, Andrew Carnegie rose, through industry and intelligence, to become one of the worlds wealthiest men. His relation to money relates him to the third ray, but he will be remembered far more as one of the world’s most generous philanthropists than as an industrialist. He had a great love (sixth ray—so present through three planets in Sagittarius) for higher education (second ray Jupiter—a singleton—in the house of Sagittarius—the ninth). During his life, Carnegie generated vast quantities of material resources (indicated by the power of Scorpio to amass power, by materialistic third ray Saturn rising, and by a concentration of three Sagittarian planets in the second house of resources), and laid these resources at the disposal of education, establishing and endowing libraries throughout the nation. His principal rays, then, were the third and the sixth, but he aspired towards the second ray, and ultimately served this ray most generously.



And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.
(Saturn conjunct Scorpio Ascendant.)

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
(Mars conjunct Sun in Sagittarius.)

Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket.
(Sun, Mars & Venus in Sagittarius.)

Concentration is my motto - first honesty, then industry, then concentration.

Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.

Do your duty and a little more and the future will take care of itself.
(Saturn conjunct the Ascendant, trine Uranus.)

He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.

Here is the prime condition of success: Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.

I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution.
(Chiron in Gemini opposition Sun. Saturn conjunct Ascendant square Moon/Neptune in Aquarius.)

I shall argue that strong men, conversely, know when to compromise and that all principles can be compromised to serve a greater principle.

I would as soon leave my son a curse as the almighty dollar.

Immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control affairs.
(Pluto in Aries in 5th house.)

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.
(Pluto in Aries in 5th house.)

No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.

Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.
(Venus in 2nd house.)

The 'morality of compromise' sounds contradictory. Compromise is usually a sign of weakness, or an admission of defeat. Strong men don't compromise, it is said, and principles should never be compromised.

The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell.

The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it.

There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.

Whatever I engage in, I must push inordinately.

You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best.

Would as soon leave my son a curse as the almighty dollar.

Mr. Morgan buys his partners; I grow my own.
Referring to the banker J.P. Morgan’s habit of incorporating men who had made brilliant careers in other houses.

We accept and welcome ... as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment; the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few; and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race.
ATTRIBUTION: Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), U.S. industrialist, philanthropist. First published in North American Review, Cedar Falls, Iowa (June 1889). “The Gospel of Wealth,” quoted in Life of Andrew Carnegie, vol. 1, ch. 17, Burton J. Hendrick (1932).

I can’t afford to pay them any other way.
In reply to a banker’s question, “How can you afford to pay your men so well?”

This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and, after doing so, to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community—the man of wealth thus becoming the mere trustee and agent for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves.

The day is not far distant when the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was free for him to administer during life, will pass away “unwept, unhonored, and unsung,” no matter to what uses he leave the dross which he cannot take with him. Of such as these the public verdict will then be: “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.” Such, in my opinion, is the true gospel concerning wealth, obedience to which is destined some day to solve the problem of the rich and the poor.

The price which society pays for the law of competition, like the price it pays for cheap comforts and luxuries, is great; but the advantages of this law are also greater still than its cost—for it is to this law that we owe our wonderful material development, which brings improved conditions in its train. But, whether the law be benign or not, we must say of it ...: It is here; we cannot evade it; no substitutes for it have been found; and while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.

All honor's wounds are self-inflicted.

Here lies a man who knew how to enlist the service of better men than himself.
Andrew Carnegie Source: His Tombstone
(Jupiter in 9th house.)

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.

There is no use whatever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb himself.

In bestowing charity, the main consideration: should be to help those who will help themselves; to provide part of the means by which those who desire to improve may do so; to give those who desire to rise the aids by which they may rise; to assist, but rarely or never to do all. Neither the individual nor the race is improved by almsgiving. Those worthy of assistance, except in rare cases, seldom require assistance. The really valuable men of the race never do, except in case of accident or sudden change. Every one has, of course, cases of individuals brought to his own knowledge where temporary assistance can do genuine good, and these he will not overlook. But the amount which can be wisely given by the individual for individuals is necessarily limited by his lack of knowledge of the circumstances connected with each. He is the only true reformer who is as care ful and as anxious not to aid the unworthy as he is to aid the worthy, and, perhaps, even more so, for in almsgiving more injury is probably done by rewarding vice than by relieving virtue.

The rich man is thus almost restricted to following the examples of...others, who know that the best means of benefiting the community is to place within its reach the ladders upon which the aspiring can rise: free libraries, parks, and means of recreation, by which men are helped in body and mind; works of art, certain to give pleasure and improve the public taste; and public institutions of various kinds, which will improve the general condition of the people; in this manner returning their surplus wealth to the mass of their fellows in the forms best calculated to do them lasting good.

-Andrew Carnegie, Wealth [also appeared later in the book "The Gospel of Wealth"], "North American Review", June, 1889

One of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is indiscriminate charity.

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.

“There is little success where there is little laughter.”

“Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.”

“No man can become rich without himself enriching others”

“Pioneering don't pay”

“I believe that the true road to preeminent success in any line is to make yourself master of that line”

“The secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it”

“No amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor.”

“The price which society pays for the law of competition, like the price it pays for cheap comforts and luxuries, is great; but the advantages of this law are also greater still than its cost / for it is to this law that we owe our wonderful material development, which brings improved conditions in its train. But, whether the law be benign or not, we must say of it: It is here; we cannot evade it; no substitutes for it have been found; and while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.”

“The man who dies rich dies disgraced”

“It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it as the founding of a public library”

“The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship”

“We accept and welcome... as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment; the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few; and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race.”

“This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and, after doing so, to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community /the man of wealth thus becoming the mere trustee and agent for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves.”

“Upon the sacredness of property civilization itself depends - the right of the laborer to his hundred dollars in the savings bank, and equally the legal right of the millionaire to his millions”

“Every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something.”
(Scorpio Ascendant. Venus at mid point of Sagittarius.)

“When it is a question of God's almighty Spirit, never say, "I can't."”

“Aim for the highest.”
(Sun in Sagittarius.)

“It is the mind that makes the body rich.”

“The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it.”

“You're achieving God's mission for humanity and country through capitalism, but by Christianity and your own sense of patriotism, you have a duty to better mankind.”


Born: November 25, 1835
Dunfermline, Scotland
Died: August 11, 1919
Lenox, Massachusetts
Occupation: Businessman and Philanthropist
Andrew Carnegie (November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-born American businessman, a major philanthropist, and the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company which later became U.S. Steel. He is known for having built one of the most powerful and influential corporations in United States history, and, later in his life, giving away most of his riches to fund the establishment of many libraries, schools, and universities in Scotland, America and worldwide.

The Carnegie family in Scotland

Carnegie's birthplace, DunfermlineAndrew Carnegie was born on November 25, 1835, in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. He was the son of a hand loom weaver, William Carnegie. His mother was Margaret, daughter of one Thomas Morrison, a tanner and shoemaker. Although his family was impoverished, he grew up in a cultured, political home.

Many of Carnegie's closest relatives were self-educated tradesmen and class activists. William Carnegie, although poor, had educated himself and, as far as his resources would permit, ensured that his children received an education. William Carnegie was, moreover, politically active, and was involved with those organising demonstrations against the Corn laws. He was also a Chartist. He wrote frequently to newspapers and contributed articles in the radical pamphlet, Cobbett's Register edited by William Cobbett. Amongst other things, he argued for abolition of the Rotten Boroughs and reform of the British House of Commons, Catholic Emancipation, and laws governing safety at work, which were passed many years later in the Factory Acts. Most radically of all, however, he promoted the abolition of all forms of hereditary privilege, including all monarchies.

Another great influence on the young Andrew Carnegie was his uncle, George Lauder, a proprietor of a small grocer's shop in Dunfermline High Street. This uncle introduced the young Carnegie to such historical Scottish heroes as Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, and Rob Roy. He was also introduced to the writings of Robert Burns, as well as Shakespeare. Lauder had Carnegie commit to memory many pages of Burns's writings, writings that were to stay with him for the rest of his life.

George Lauder was additionally interested in the United States. Lauder saw the U.S.A. as a country with "democratic institutions". Carnegie would later grow to consider the U.S. the role model for democratic government.

Another uncle, his mother's brother, "Ballie" Morrison, was also a radical political firebrand. A fervent nonconformist, the chief objects of his tirades were the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. In 1842, the young Carnegie's radical sentiments were stirred further at the news of "Ballie" being imprisoned for his part in a "Cessation of Labour" (strike). At this time, withdrawal of labour by a hireling was a criminal offense.

Andrew Carnegie's direct descendants still live in Scotland today. William Thomson CBE, the great grandson of Andrew, is Chairman of the Carnegie Trust Dunfermline, a trust which maintains Andrew Carnegie's legacy.

Migration to America
Andrew Carnegie's father had worked as a jobbing hand loom weaver. This involved receiving the mill's raw materials at his cottage and weaving them into cloth on the primitive loom in the cottage. In the 1840s, a new system was coming into being, the factory system. During this era, mill owners began constructing large weaving mills with looms powered at first by water wheels and later by steam engines. These factories could produce cloth at far lower cost, partly through increased mechanisation and economies of scale, but partly also by paying mill workers very low wages and by working them very long hours. The success of the mills forced William Carnegie to seek work in the mills or elsewhere away from home. However, the radical views of Andrew Carnegie's father were well known, and he was not wanted.

He chose to emigrate. His mother's two sisters had already emigrated, but it was his wife who persuaded William Carnegie to make the passage. Making the passage was not easy, however, for they had to find the passage money. They were forced to sell their meagre possessions and borrow some £20 from friends, a considerable sum in 1848.

That May, his family emigrated to the United States, sailing on the Wiscasset, a former whaler that took the family from Broomielaw, in Glasgow to New York. From there they proceeded up the Hudson River and the Erie Canal to Lake Erie and then to Allegheny, Pennsylvania (present day Pittsburgh's northside neighborhoods), where William Carnegie found work in a cotton factory.

Young Andrew Carnegie found work in the same building as a "Bobbin boy" for the sum of $1.20 a week. His brother, Thomas, eight years younger, was sent to school. Andrew Carnegie quickly grew accustomed to his new country: three years after arriving in the United States, the young Carnegie began writing to his friends in Scotland extolling the great virtues of American democracy whilst disparaging and criticising "feudal British institutions". At the same time, he followed in his father's footsteps and wrote letters to the newspapers including the New York Tribune on subjects such as slavery.

Early career
1850–1860: A 'self made man'

Andrew, aged 16, with brother ThomasAndrew Carnegie's education and passion for reading was given a great boost by Colonel James Anderson, who opened his personal library of 400 volumes to working boys each Saturday night. Carnegie was a consistent borrower. He was a "self-made man" in the broadest sense, insofar as it applied not only to his economic development but also to his intellectual and cultural development. His capacity and willingness for hard work, his perseverance, and his alertness, soon brought forth opportunities.

In 1851, he became a telegraph messenger boy in the Pittsburgh Office of the Ohio Telegraph Company, at $2.50 per week. This, to the young Carnegie, seemed a fortune. In addition to providing him with an increase in income, the job also provided him with a lifelong love of William Shakespeare's works. He was frequently required to deliver messages to a theatre, and he often managed to contrive appearing just as the curtain had been raised on a performance. Using a charm that was to pay even greater dividends in the future, Carnegie was then usually able to convince the theatre's manager to allow him to stay and watch the performance for free. When Carnegie was not at the theatre or improving his mind with a book, he would spend time listening to the telegraph instrument itself. The electric telegraph transmitted its signals along the wires that traversed the nation. When they were received into the telegraph office, they were transcribed into readable script on a long paper tape with the aid of an elaborate machine. He quickly learned to distinguish the differing sound the incoming signals produced and learned to transcribe it by ear without having to write it down. At the time, Andrew Carnegie was one of only two or three persons so gifted in the entire country. Having learned Telegraphy, he was noted by Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, who employed him as a secretary/Telegraph operator starting in 1853, at the princely salary of $4.00 per week. Carnegie was eighteen and soon began a rapid advancement through the company, eventually becoming the Superintendent of the Pittsburgh Division.

1860–1865: Carnegie during the U.S. Civil War
During the pre-war period, Andrew Carnegie had formed a partnership with a Mr. Woodruff, an inventor. Woodruff's invention was the sleeping car. The great distances transversed by railways had meant stopping for the night at hotels and inns by the railside, so that passengers could rest. The sleeping car sped up travel and helped Americans settle the American west. The investment proved a great success and a source of great fortune for Woodruff and Carnegie. The young Carnegie, who started work at an early age as a bobbin boy in a cotton mill, and, who was, a few years later, engaged as a telegraph clerk and operator with the Atlantic and Ohio Company, now became the superintendent of the western division of the entire line. In this post, Carnegie was responsible for several improvements in the service. When the American Civil War opened in 1861, he accompanied Scott, the Assistant United States Secretary of War, to the front, where he was "the first casualty of the war" when he pulled up telegraph wires the confederates had buried. He gained a scar on his cheek from when the wire came up too fast and cut him. He would tell the story of that scar for years to come.

Following his good fortune, Carnegie proceeded to increase it still further through fortunate and careful investments. In 1864, Carnegie invested the sum of $40,000 in Storey Farm on Oil Creek, in Venango County, Pennsylvania. In one year, the farm yielded over $1,000,000 in cash dividends, and oil from oil wells on the property sold profitably. Carnegie was subsequently associated with others in establishing a steel rolling mill.

Aside from Carnegie's investment successes, he was beginning to figure prominently in the American cause and in American culture. With the Civil War raging, Carnegie soon found himself in Washington. Carnegie was selected by his boss at the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Thomas A. Scott, who was now Assistant Secretary of War in charge of military transportation, to join him in Washington. Carnegie was appointed Superintendent of the Military Railways and the Union Government's telegraph lines in the East and was Scott's right hand man. Carnegie, himself, was on the foot plate of the locomotive that pulled the first brigade of Union troops to reach Washington. Shortly after this, following the defeat of Union forces at Bull Run, he personally supervised the transportation of the defeated forces. Under his organization, the telegraph service rendered efficient service to the Union cause and significantly assisted in the eventual victory. During his work "in the field", Carnegie fell ill and needed treatment for sunstroke.

The Civil War, as so many wars before it, brought boom times to the suppliers of war. The U.S. iron industry was one such. Before the war its production was of little significance, but the sudden huge demand brought boom times to Pittsburgh and similar cities and great wealth to the iron masters.

Carnegie had some investments in this industry before the war and, after the war, left the railroads to devote all his energies to the ironworks trade. Carnegie worked to develop several iron works, eventually forming The Keystone Bridge Works and the Union Ironworks, in Pittsburgh. Although he had left the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, he did not totally sever his links with the railroads. These links would prove valuable. The Keystone Bridge Company made iron train bridges, and, as company superintendent, Carnegie had noticed the weakness of the traditional wooden structures. These were replaced in large numbers with iron bridges made in his works. As well as having good business sense, Carnegie possessed charm and literary knowledge. He was invited to many important social functions, functions that Carnegie exploited to his own advantage and to the fullest extent.

Carnegie, circa 1878Carnegie’s philanthropic inclinations began some time before retirement. He wrote;

I propose to take an income no greater than $50,000 per annum! Beyond this I need ever earn, make no effort to increase my fortune, but spend the surplus each year for benevolent purposes! Let us cast aside business forever, except for others. Let us settle in Oxford and I shall get a thorough education, making the acquaintance of literary men. I figure that this will take three years active work. I shall pay especial attention to speaking in public. We can settle in London and I can purchase a controlling interest in some newspaper or live review and give the general management of it attention, taking part in public matters, especially those connected with education and improvement of the poorer classes. Man must have an idol and the amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry! No idol is more debasing than the worship of money! Whatever I engage in I must push inordinately; therefore should I be careful to choose that life which will be the most elevating in its character. To continue much longer overwhelmed by business cares and with most of my thoughts wholly upon the way to make more money in the shortest time, must degrade me beyond hope of permanent recovery. I will resign business at thirty-five, but during these ensuing two years I wish to spend the afternoons in receiving instruction and in reading systematically!

1880–1890: Carnegie the scholar and activist
Whilst Carnegie continued his business career, some of his literary intentions were fulfilled. During this time, he made many friends in the literary and political worlds. Among these were such as Matthew Arnold and Herbert Spencer as well as being in correspondence and acquaintance with most of the U.S. Presidents, statesmen, and notable writers of the time. Many were visitors to the Carnegie home. Carnegie greatly admired Herbert Spencer, the polymath who seemed to know everything. He did not, however, agree with Spencer's Social Darwinism which held that philanthropy was a bad idea.

In 1881, Andrew Carnegie took his family, which included his mother, then aged 70, on a trip to Great Britain. They toured the sights of Scotland by coach having several receptions en-route. The highlight for them all was a triumphal return to Dunfermline where Carnegie's mother laid the foundation stone of the "Carnegie Library". Andrew Carnegie's criticism of British society did not point to a dislike of the country of his birth; on the contrary, one of Carnegie's ambitions was to act as a catalyst for a close association between the English speaking peoples. To this end, he purchased, in the first part of the 1880s, a number of newspapers in England, all of which were to advocate the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of "the British Republic". Carnegie's charm aided by his great wealth meant that he had many British friends, including Prime Minister Gladstone.

In 1886, tragedy struck Carnegie when his young brother Thomas died at the early age of 43. Success in the business continued, however. At the same time as owning steel works, Carnegie had purchased, at low cost, the most valuable of the iron ore fields around Lake Superior. The same year Andrew Carnegie became a figure of controversy. Following his tour of Great Britain, he wrote about his experiences in a book entitled An American Four-in-hand in Britain. Although still actively involved in running his many businesses, Carnegie had become a regular contributor of articles to numerous serious minded magazines, most notably the Nineteenth Century, under the editorship of James Knowles, and the North American Review, whose editor, Lloyd Bryce, oversaw the publication during its most influential period.

That year, 1886, Carnegie penned his most radical work to date, entitled Triumphant Democracy. The work, liberal in its use of statistics to make its arguments, was an attempt to argue his view that the American republican system of government was superior to the British monarchical system. It not only gave an overly-favourable and idealistic view of American progress, but made some considerable criticism of the British royal family. Most antagonistic, however, was the cover that depicted amongst other motifs, an upended royal crown and a broken sceptre. Given these aspects, it was no surprise that the book was the cause of some considerable controversy in Great Britain. The book itself was successful. It made many Americans aware for the first time of their country's economic progress and sold over 40,000 copies, mostly in the U.S.A.

In 1889, Carnegie stirred up yet another hornet's nest when an article entitled "Wealth" appeared in the June issue of the North American Review. After reading it, Gladstone requested its publication in England, and it appeared under a new title, "The Gospel of Wealth" in the Pall Mall Gazette. The article itself was the subject of much discussion. In the article, the author argued that the life of a wealthy industrialist such as Carnegie should comprise two parts. The first part was the gathering and the accumulation of wealth. The second part was to be used for the subsequent distribution of this wealth to benevolent causes.

Carnegie the industrialist
1885–1900: Building an empire of steel
But all this was only a preliminary to the success attending his development of the iron and steel industries at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry, controlling the most extensive integrated iron and steel operations ever owned by an individual in the United States. His great innovation was in the cheap and efficient mass production of steel rails for railroad lines.

In the late 1880s, Carnegie Steel was the largest manufacturer of pig-iron, steel-rails, and coke in the world, with a capacity to produce approximately 2,000 tons of pig-metal a day. In 1888, he bought the rival Homestead Steel Works, which included an extensive plant served by tributary coal and iron fields, a railway 425 miles long, and a line of lake steamships. An agglutination of the assets of he and his associates occurred in 1892 with the launching of the Carnegie Steel Company.

By 1889, the U.S. output of steel exceeded that of the UK, and Andrew Carnegie owned a large part of it. Carnegie had risen to the heights he had by being a supreme organizer and judge of men. He had the talent of being able to surround himself with able and effective men, while, at the same time, retaining the control and the direction of the enterprise. Carnegie's businesses were uniquely organised in that his belief in "democratic principles" found itself interpreted into these businesses. This did not mean that Carnegie was not in absolute control, however. The businesses incorporated Carnegie's own version of profit sharing. Carnegie wanted his employees to have a stake in the business, for he knew that they would work best if they saw that their own self interest was allied to the firm's. As a result, men who had started as labourers in some cases, eventually ended up millionaires. Carnegie also often encouraged unfriendly competition between two of his workers and goaded them into outdoing one another. These rivalries became so important to some of the workers that they wouldn't talk to each other for years. Carnegie maintained control by incorporating his enterprises not as joint stock corporations but as limited partnerships with Carnegie as majority and controlling partner. Not a cent of stock was publicly sold. If a member died or retired, his stock was purchased at book value by the company. Similarly, the other partners could vote to call in stock from those partners who underperformed, forcing them to resign.

The internal organisation of his businesses was not the only reason for Andrew Carnegie's rise to pre-eminence. Carnegie introduced the concept of counter-cyclical investment. Carnegie's competitors, along with virtually every other business enterprise across the globe, pursued the conventional strategy of procyclical investment; manufacturers reinvesting profits in new capital in times of boom and high demand. Because demand is high, investment in bull markets is more expensive. In response, Carnegie developed and implemented a secret tactic. He shifted the purchasing cycle of his companies to slump times, when business was depressed and prices low. Carnegie observed that business cycles alternated between "boom" and "bust". He saw that if he capitalized during a slump, his costs would be lower and profits higher. During the years 1893 to 1897, there was a great slump in economic demand, and so Carnegie made his move. At rock bottom prices, he upgraded his entire operation with the latest and most cost effective steel mills. When demand picked up, prosperity followed for the Homestead & Edgar Thompson Steel Works, the Carnegie, Phipps & Company, and Carnegie Bros. & Company as a flood tide of profit. In 1900, the profits of Carnegie Bros. & Company alone stood at $40,000,000 with $25,000,000 being Carnegie's share.

Carnegie's empire grew to include the J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works, (named for John Edgar Thomson, Carnegie's former boss and president of the Pennsylvania Railroad), Pittsburgh Bessemer Steel Works, the Lucy Furnaces, the Union Iron Mills, the Union Mill (Wilson, Walker & County), the Keystone Bridge Works, the Hartman Steel Works, the Frick Coke Company, and the Scotia ore mines. Also, Carnegie, through Keystone, supplied the steel for and owned shares in the landmark Eads Bridge project across the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri (completed 1874). This project was an important proof-of-concept for steel technology which marked the opening of a new steel market.

1901: The formation of U.S. Steel
In 1901, Carnegie was now 65 years old and was considering retirement. He reformed his enterprises into conventional joint stock corporations as preparation to this end. Carnegie, however, wanted a good price for his stock. There was a man who was to give him his price. This man was John Pierpont Morgan.

Morgan was a banker and perhaps America's most important financial deal maker. He had observed how efficiency produced profit. He envisioned an integrated steel industry that would cut costs, lower prices to consumers and raise wages to workers. To this end he needed to buy out Carnegie and several other major producers, and integrate them all into one company thereby eliminating duplication and waste. Negotiations were concluded on 2nd March with the formation of the United States Steel Corporation. It was the first corporation in the world with a market capitalization in excess of $1,000,000,000.

The buyout, which was negotiated in secret by Charles M. Schwab (no relation to Charles R. Schwab, the brokerage house founder), was the largest such industrial takeover in United States history to date. The holdings were incorporated in the United States Steel Corporation, a trust organized by J. P. Morgan, and Carnegie himself retired from business. His steel enterprises were bought out at a figure equivalent to twelve times their annual earnings; $480 million [1], which at the time was the largest ever personal commercial transaction. Andrew Carnegie's share of this amounted to a massive $225,639,000 which was paid to Carnegie in the form of 5%, 50 year gold bonds. The letter agreeing to sell his share was signed on the 26th February, 1901. On the 2nd March 1901, the circular formally filing the organisation and capitalisation (at $1,400,000,000 - 4% of U.S national wealth at the time) of the United States Steel Corporation actually completed the contract. The bonds were to be delivered within two weeks to the Hudson Trust Company of Hoboken, New Jersey in trust to Robert A. Franks, Carnegie's business secretary. There, a special vault was built to house the physical bulk of nearly $230,000,000 worth of bonds. It was said that "....Carnegie never wanted to see or touch these bonds that represented the fruition of his business career. It was as if he feared that if he looked upon them they might vanish like the gossamer gold of the leprechaun. Let them lie safe in a vault in New Jersey, safe from the New York tax assessors, until he was ready to dispose of them...."

As they signed the papers of sale, Carnegie remarked, "Well, Pierpont, I am now handing the burden over to you." In return, Andrew Carnegie became one of the world's wealthiest men. Retirement was a stage in life that many men dreaded. However, Carnegie was not one of them. He was looking forward to retirement, for it was his intention to follow a new course from then on.

Besides steel, Carnegie's companies were involved in other areas of the railroad industry. His company, Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works, was noted for its building of large steam locomotives at the turn of the 20th century. His associates and partners included Henry Clay Frick and F. T. F. Lovejoy.

He owned 18 English newspapers, which he controlled to censor Radicalist views[citation needed].

At the height of his career, he was the second richest person in the world, behind only John D. Rockefeller.

1901–1915: Carnegie the philanthropist

A Carnegie library, Macomb, IllinoisAndrew Carnegie spent his last years as a philanthropist. From 1901 forward, public attention was turned from the shrewd business capacity which had enabled Carnegie to accumulate such a fortune, to the public-spirited way in which he devoted himself to utilizing it on philanthropic objects. His views on social subjects and the responsibilities which great wealth involved were already known from Triumphant Democracy (1886), and from his Gospel of Wealth (1889). He acquired Skibo Castle, in Sutherland, Scotland, and made his home partly there and partly in New York and then devoted his life to the work of providing the capital for purposes of public interest and social and educational advancement.

In all his ideas, he was dominated by an intense belief in the future and influence of the English-speaking people, in their democratic government and alliance for the purpose of peace and the abolition of war, and in the progress of education on nonsectarian lines. He was a powerful supporter of the movement for spelling reform as a means of promoting the spread of the English language.

Among all of his many philanthropic efforts, the establishment of public libraries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in other English-speaking countries was especially prominent. Carnegie libraries, as they were commonly called, sprang up on all sides. The first of which was opened in 1883 in Dunfermline, Scotland. His method was to build and equip, but only on condition that the local authority provided site and maintenance. To secure local interest, in 1885, he gave $500,000 to Pittsburgh for a public library, and in 1886, he gave $250,000 to Allegheny City for a music hall and library, and $250,000 to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a free library. In total Carnegie funded some 3,000 libraries, located in every U.S. state except Alaska, Delaware, and Rhode Island. Carnegie also built libraries in Canada and overseas in Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, and Fiji.

He gave $2 million in 1901 to start the Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) at Pittsburgh and the same amount in 1902 to found the Carnegie Institution at Washington, D.C.. He would later contribute more to these and other schools. CIT is now part of Carnegie Mellon University.

In Scotland, he gave $2 million in 1901 to establish a trust for providing funds for assisting education at the Scottish universities, a benefaction which resulted in his being elected Lord Rector of University of St. Andrews. He was a large benefactor of the Tuskegee Institute under Booker Washington for African American education. He also established large pension funds in 1901 for his former employees at Homestead and, in 1905, for American college professors. He also funded the construction of 7,000 church organs.

Also, long before he sold out, in 1879, he erected commodious swimming-baths for the use of the people of his hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland. In the following year, Carnegie gave $40,000 for the establishment of a free library in the same city. In 1884, he gave $50,000 to Bellevue Hospital Medical College to found a histological laboratory, now called the Carnegie Laboratory.

He owned Carnegie Hall in New York City from its construction in 1890 until his widow sold it in 1924.

He also founded the Carnegie Hero Fund commissions in America (1904) and in the United Kingdom (1908) for the recognition of deeds of heroism, contributed $500,000 in 1903 for the erection of a Peace Palace at The Hague, and donated $150,000 for a Pan-American Palace in Washington as a home for the International Bureau of American Republics.

By the rough and ready standards of 19th century tycoons, Carnegie was not a particularly ruthless man, but the contrast between his life and the lives of many of his own workers and of the poor, in general, was stark. "Maybe with the giving away of his money," commented biographer Joseph Wall, "he would justify what he had done to get that money." [2]

By the time he died in Lenox, Massachusetts, on August 11, 1919, Carnegie had given away $350,695,653. At his death, the last $30,000,000 was likewise given away to foundations, charities, and to pensioners.

He is interred in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Later personal life
In an era in which financial capital was consolidated in New York City, Carnegie famously stayed aloof from the city, preferring to live near his factories in western Pennsylvania and at Skibo Castle, Scotland, which he bought and refurbished. However, he also built (in 1901) and resided in a townhouse on New York City's Fifth Avenue that later came to house Cooper-Hewitt's National Design Museum.

Carnegie married Louise Whitfield in 1887 and had one daughter, Margaret, who was born in 1897. His brother, Thomas M. Carnegie, also born in Dunfermline, Scotland, was born on October 2, 1843. He was associated with Andrew in his business enterprises, but died in Homewood, Pennsylvania, on October 19, 1886.

Controversial aspects of Carnegie's life
1892: The Homestead Strike
The Homestead StrikeThe Homestead Strike was a bloody labor confrontation lasting 143 days in 1892 and was one of the most serious in U.S. history. The conflict was situated around Carnegie Steel's main plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania and grew out of a dispute between the National Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers of the United States and the Carnegie Steel Company.

Carnegie, who had cultivated a pro-labor image in his dealings with company mill workers, departed the country for a trip to his Scottish homeland before the unrest peaked. In doing so, Carnegie left mediation of the dispute in the hands of his associate and partner Henry Clay Frick. Frick was well known in industrial circles as maintaining staunch anti-union sensibilities.

The company had attempted to cut the wages of the skilled steel workers, and when the workers refused the pay cut, management locked the union out (workers considered the stoppage a "lockout" by management and not a "strike" by workers). Frick brought in thousands of strikebreakers to work the steel mills and Pinkerton agents to safeguard them.

The arrival, on July 6, of a force of 300 Pinkerton agents from New York City and Chicago resulted in a fight in which 10 men - seven strikers and three Pinkertons - were killed and hundreds were injured. Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Pattison discharged two brigades of the state militia to the strike site. Then, allegedly in response to the fight between the striking workers and the Pinkertons, anarchist Alexander Berkman tried to kill Frick with a gun provided by Emma Goldman. However, Frick was only wounded, and the attempt turned public opinion away from the striking workers. Afterwards, the company successfully resumed operations with non-union immigrant employees in place of the Homestead plant workers, and Carnegie returned stateside.

Carnegie was one of more than 50 wealthy members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, which was blamed for the Johnstown Flood that killed more than 2,200 people in 1887.

Andrew Carnegie at Skibo Castle, 1914Carnegie wrote The Gospel of Wealth, in which he stated his belief that the rich should use their wealth to help enrich society.

The following is taken from one of Carnegie's memos to himself:

Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth.

Carnegie also believed that achievement of financial success could be reduced to a simple formula, which could be duplicated by the average person. In 1908, he commissioned (at no pay) Napoleon Hill, then a journalist, to interview more than 500 high and wealthy achievers to find out the common threads of their success. Hill eventually became a Carnegie collaborator, and their work was published in 1928, after Carnegie's death, in Hill's book The Law of Success (ISBN 0879804475) and in 1937 in Hill's most successful and enduring work, Think and Grow Rich (ISBN 1593302002). The latter has not been out of print since the day it was published and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. In 1960, Hill published an abridged version of the book containing the Andrew Carnegie formula for wealth creation. For years it was the only version generally available. In 2004, Ross Cornwell published Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised, which restored the book to its original form, with slight revisions, and added the first comprehensive endnotes, index, and appendix the book had ever contained.

Carnegie was a frequent contributor to periodicals on labour issues.

In addition to Triumphant Democracy (1886), Gospel of Wealth (1900) and The Law of Success (1928), other publications by him were An American Four-in-hand in Britain (1883), Round the World (1884), The Empire of Business (1902), a Life of James Watt (1905) and Problems of To-day (1908).

Various sources quote Carnegie's height at between 5' (1.524m) and 5' 3" (1.6m); a claim that he was 5' 6" (1.676m) is incorrect.
Two municipalities in the United States are named after Andrew Carnegie: Carnegie, PA and Carnegie, OK.
The dinosaur Diplodocus carnegiei (Hatcher) was named for Andrew Carnegie after he sponsored the expedition that discovered its remains in the Morrison Formation (Jurassic) of Utah. Carnegie was so proud of “Dippi” that he had casts made of the bones and plaster replicas of the whole skeleton donated to several museums in Europe. The original fossil skeleton is assembled and stands in the Hall of Dinosaurs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA.
See also
American Anti-Imperialist League, an organization to which Carnegie belonged
Carnegie libraries image gallery
Robber baron (industrialist)
List of universities named after people
Primary sources
Carnegie, Andrew. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie (1920, 2006). ISBN 1599869675.
Carnegie, Andrew. "Gospel of Wealth" (1888, 1998). ISBN 1557094713.
Wall, Joseph Frazier, ed. The Andrew Carnegie Reader (1992). ISBN 0822954648
Secondary sources
Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich (1937, 2004). ISBN 1593302002. (Contains Hill's reminiscences about his long relationship with Carnegie and extensive endnotes about him.)
Josephson; Matthew. The Robber Barons: The Great American Capitalists, 1861-1901 (1938, 1987). ISBN 9991847995.
Morris, Charles R. The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy (2005). ISBN 0805075992.
Krass, Peter. Carnegie (2002). ISBN 0471386308.
Livesay, Harold C. Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business, 2nd Edition (1999). ISBN 0321432878.
Ritt Jr., Michael J., and Landers, Kirk. A Lifetime of Riches. ISBN 0525941460.
Wall, Joseph Frazier. Andrew Carnegie (1989). ISBN 0822959046.
Whaples, Robert. "Andrew Carnegie", EH.Net Encyclopedia of Economic and Business History.
External links
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Andrew CarnegieWikisource has original works written by or about:
Andrew CarnegieAt the top 10 richest of all time
PBS: Carnegie
LOC: Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie: Evaluating a capitalist icon
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Council
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: Andrew Carnegie: A Tribute
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Carnegie Birthplace Museum website
Andrew Carnegie - His Scottish Connections
Deconstructing the Philanthropic Library
Online Books by Andrew Carnegie
Works by Andrew Carnegie at Project Gutenberg
Andrew Carnegie - His Relationship with Napoleon Hill and Think and Grow Rich
The Homestead Strike 1892 by Cheri Goldner
Andrew Carnegie - Important Scots
This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography.
Retrieved from

Andrew Carnegie

One of the captains of industry of 19th century America, Andrew Carnegie helped build the formidable American steel industry, a process that turned a poor young man into one of the richest entrepreneurs of his age. Later in his life, Carnegie sold his steel business and systematically gave his collected fortune away to cultural, educational and scientific institutions for "the improvement of mankind."

Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, the medieval capital of Scotland, in 1835. The town was a center of the linen industry, and Andrew's father was a weaver, a profession the young Carnegie was expected to follow. But the industrial revolution that would later make Carnegie the richest man in the world, destroyed the weavers' craft. When the steam-powered looms came to Dunfermline in 1847 hundreds of hand loom weavers became expendable. Andrew's mother went to work to support the family, opening a small grocery shop and mending shoes.

"I began to learn what poverty meant," Andrew would later write. "It was burnt into my heart then that my father had to beg for work. And then and there came the resolve that I would cure that when I got to be a man."

An ambition for riches would mark Carnegie's path in life. However, a belief in political egalitarianism was another ambition he inherited from his family. Andrew's father, his grandfather Tom Morrison and his uncle Tom Jr. were all Scottish radicals who fought to do away with inherited privilege and to bring about the rights of common workers.

But Andrew's mother, fearing for the survival of her family, pushed the family to leave the poverty of Scotland for the possibilities in America. She borrowed 20 pounds she needed to pay the fare for the Atlantic passage and in 1848 the Carnegies joined two of Margaret's sisters in Pittsburgh, then a sooty city that was the iron-manufacturing center of the country.

William Carnegie secured work in a cotton factory and his son Andrew took work in the same building as a bobbin boy for $1.20 a week. Later, Carnegie worked as a messenger boy in the city's telegraph office. He did each job to the best of his ability and seized every opportunity to take on new responsibilities. For example, he memorized Pittsburgh's street lay-out as well as the important names and addresses of those he delivered to.

Carnegie often was asked to deliver messages to the theater. He arranged to make these deliveries at night--and stayed on to watch plays by Shakespeare and other great playwrights. In what would be a life-long pursuit of knowledge, Carnegie also took advantage of a small library that a local benefactor made available to working boys.

One of the men Carnegie met at the telegraph office was Thomas A. Scott, then beginning his impressive career at Pennsylvania Railroad. Scott was taken by the young worker and referred to him as "my boy Andy," hiring him as his private secretary and personal telegrapher at $35 a month.

"I couldn't imagine," Carnegie said many years later. "what I could ever do with so much money." Ever eager to take on new responsibilities, Carnegie worked his way up the ladder in Pennsylvania Railroad and succeeded Scott as superintendent of the Pittsburgh Division. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Scott was hired to supervise military transportation for the North and Carnegie worked as his right hand man.

The Civil War fueled the iron industry, and by the time the war was over, Carnegie saw the potential in the field and resigned from Pennsylvania Railroad. It was one of many bold moves that would typify Carnegie's life in industry and earn him his fortune. He then turned his attention to the Keystone Bridge Company, which worked to replace wooden bridges with stronger iron ones. In three years he had an annual income of $50,000.

However, Andrew expressed his uneasiness with the businessman's life. In a letter to himself at age 33, he wrote: "To continue much longer overwhelmed by business cares and with most of my thoughts wholly upon the way to make more money in the shortest time, must degrade me beyond hope of permanent recovery. I will resign business at thirty-five, but during the ensuing two years I wish to spend the afternoons in receiving instruction and in reading systematically."

Carnegie would continue making unparalleled amounts of money for the next 30 years. Two years after he wrote that letter Carnegie would embrace a new steel refining process being used by Englishman Henry Bessemer to convert huge batches of iron into steel, which was much more flexible than brittle iron. Carnegie threw his own money into the process and even borrowed heavily to build a new steel plant near Pittsburgh. Carnegie was ruthless in keeping down costs and managed by the motto "watch costs and the profits take care of themselves."

"I think Carnegie's genius was first of all, an ability to foresee how things were going to change," says historian John Ingram. "Once he saw that something was of potential benefit to him, he was willing to invest enormously in it."

Carnegie was unusual among the industrial captains of his day because he preached for the rights of laborers to unionize and to protect their jobs. However, Carnegie's actions did not always match his rhetoric. Carnegie's steel workers were often pushed to long hours and low wages. In the Homestead Strike of 1892, Carnegie threw his support behind plant manager Henry Frick, who locked out workers and hired Pinkerton thugs to intimidate strikers. Many were killed in the conflict, and it was an episode that would forever hurt Carnegie's reputation and haunt the man.

Still, Carnegie's steel juggernaut was unstoppable, and by 1900 Carnegie Steel produced more of the metal than all of Great Britain. That was also the year that financier J. P. Morgan mounted a major challenge to Carnegie's steel empire. While Carnegie believed he could beat Morgan in a battle lasting five, 10 or 15 years, the fight did not appeal to the 64-year old man eager to spend more time with his wife Louise, whom he had married in 1886, and their daughter, Margaret.

Carnegie wrote the asking price for his steel business on a piece of paper and had one of his managers deliver the offer to Morgan. Morgan accepted without hesitation, buying the company for $480 million. "Congratulations, Mr. Carnegie," Morgan said to Carnegie when they finalized the deal. "you are now the richest man in the world."

Fond of saying that "the man who dies rich dies disgraced," Carnegie then turned his attention to giving away his fortune. He abhorred charity, and instead put his money to use helping others help themselves. That was the reason he spent much of his collected fortune on establishing over 2,500 public libraries as well as supporting institutions of higher learning. By the time Carnegie's life was over, he gave away 350 million dollars.

Carnegie also was one of the first to call for a "league of nations" and he built a "a palace of peace" that would later evolve into the World Court. His hopes for a civilized world of peace were destroyed, though, with the onset of World War I in 1914. Louise said that with these hostilities her husband's "heart was broken." Carnegie lived for another five years, but the last entry in his autobiography was the day World War I began.


Carnegie's height at between 5' (1.524m) and 5' 3" (1.6m)

to all Astrological Interpretations by Michael D. Robbins
to other commentary and projects by Michael D. Robbins
to the University of the Seven Rays

to home