In the United States, many people are familiar with the name of Andrew Carnegie because of his work with establishing libraries across the country. He often called on the rich to use their wealth for the betterment of society and Carnegie had a lot of wealth. In modern valuation, he was worth nearly $300 billion. The reason why he was so wealthy was because he was able to turn the steel industry into something that could transform the United States.
What Did Andrew Carnegie Invent?
Carnegie really didn’t invent anything, which is why his success story is one that deserves to be told. Instead of focusing on new products, Carnegie took a look at the best practices that were employed around the world and then adapted those processes into his own business. He was willing to always look at something new because it could add to the profitability of his business venture, improve his product, or give the product a new shape.
It would be fair to say that Carnegie invented the American Steel Industry, but the actual processes that he used in this industry he brought over from Europe and other places around the world. The most influential place he toured was when he was in England in 1872. He toured the steel plants that were owned by Henry Bessemer and then came home to open up his own steel plant.
Carnegie’s story is an inspirational one for many: he went from a job that paid him just $1.20 per week to being a multimillionaire in less than 30 years.
What Did Carnegie Do When He Retired?
Andrew Carnegie may be known as the Father of American Steel, but after he sold his company for $480 million, he devoted his life to improving society in almost any way he could. His endowment is solely responsible for establishing over 2,500 libraries and he formed a number of different trusts that are still operational today. He also worked to establish Carnegie Mellon University to provide opportunities for higher learning to those who may not always have the resources to do so.
At the time of his death, Carnegie had given away over $350 million dollars and his influence is still being felt today in a number of ways. Kids can still go to a Carnegie library and learn how to read. People can still earn scholarships from the trusts that were established. A number of charitable organizations continue to operate that he initially funded.
Andrew Carnegie is proof positive that you don’t have to invent anything in order to make the world a better place. He took existing inventions, adapted them so that they would work for his business, and then continued to improve the process so that his products had value. Some may call that an invention… and there’s not really an argument against that thought either.