Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Andrew Carnegie

Courtesy of my Uncle John's Bathroom Reader calendar:

A 21-Flush Salute to Andrew Carnegie, Born On This Day in 1835

One of the 19th century's leading industrialists and richest men, by 1901 Carnegie's holdings in telegraphy, railroads, and steel manufacturing had earned him more thatn $250 million. Two years earlier he had written "The Gospel of Wealth", an essay stating his conclusion that the rich should live modestly and distribute their wealth to benefit the common people. True to his own belief, Carnegie devoted the rest of his life - and income - to building libraries. He put out the word that any town in any English-speaking country could request a grant for a free library. The criteria were minimal: a demonstrated need for a library, an agreement to pay the library's annual upkeep, and a vacant lot. Carnegie provided the money for raw materials, design plans, and a building crew. The first in America: Braddock, Pennsylvania, the location of one of Carnegie's biggest steel mills. By the time Carnegie died in 1919, he'd funded more than 2,500 libraries.


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