The steel magnate Andrew Carnegie is considered one of the most wealthy individuals of all time. Andrew Carnegie net worth was higher than you would find in today’s world. Andrew Carnegie net worth was from a time when society started moving forward in the need for steel verses iron. The interesting thing about Andrew Carnegie net worth is that it all started from $0.
How Andrew Carnegie net worth went from $0 to becoming one of the most richest person of all time is what we are going to look at today.
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish lad born 25th November in 1835 in Scotland, who started from very lowly beginnings. His family being poor in Scotland wanted to find a better life and better living standards so they decided to move to the United States.
Not having any money, they borrowed £20 for their voyage to the US in 1848 at the age of 12.
Andrew Carnegie started work in the US as a child, working in a cotton factory as a bobbin boy with a wage of $1.20 per week. That can be considered a mediocrity of living which was same for many others. This is where Andrew Carnegie as an industrialist and capitalist becomes interesting and why you are investing the time into learning about Andrew Carnegie. It was after this that we see Andrew Carnegie rise from lowly beginnings to become worth even more than John D. Rockefeller.
In 1849 he went working for a local telegraph company as a messenger. With his ambition and drive, he would learn how to understand Morse Code merely through listening. It was this skill that enabled him to get his chance, gain attention and admiration and land a better paying job as a telegraph operator and personal secretary to Thomas A. Scott, the superintendent for the Pennsylvania Railroads western division. Andrew Carnegie, aged 24 began earning $35 per month at this time. With more than 7x his income as a bobbin boy, Andrew Carnegie soon had enough money to invest in coal enterprises, oil enterprises and iron enterprises.
He left the Pennsylvania Railroad company in 1865, he continued making investments and then started his own telegraph firm and the Keystone Bridge Company which was an iron bridge building company.
One of Andrew Carnegie’s investments, was to invest in Sleeping Cars, a new invention at the time. Having raised $500 for the investment, 2 years later, he was receiving $5,000 per year.
Andrew Carnegie learned about steel production and started the Carnegie Steel Corporation which began to manufacture steel which was lighter and stronger than iron.
In his early 30’s Andrew Carnegie was already a success by most peoples standards, having both investments into companies and at the same time having his own businesses.
It was through Carnegie Steel Corporation Andrew Carnegie would become one of the richest people of all of US history. Steel being both lighter and stronger than iron and a new invention resulted in a demand which made Carnegie Steel Corporation not only the largest steel company but also with a better metal, one which started taking over existing markets that would use the much heavier and bulkier iron.
At this stage, we need to consider the aspects that enabled Andrew Carnegie to become rich beyond even today’s billionaires standards. One of these was the flourishing of the industrial revolution where there were new innovations as well as people looking for a better living standard.
Crude oil being refined into petroleum and the mass production of vehicles and trains required steel. This was where Andrew Carnegie shined because he was an avid reader and keen to learn about business even when working at the telegraph company, learning who the important people were and the latest happenings in business at the time.
With the understanding, the investments he made made him earn more more than most people would get in a year. For example, investing $500 in sleeping cars in 1856, resulted in earning $5,000 per year which was three times more than he was earning working at the Pennsylvania Railroad company and ten times more than he invested.
In 1861, Andrew Carnegie made investments into oil companies. It was these industrial focused investments which were so essential in uplifting him and enabling Andrew Carnegie to start corporations which would become the leading producers of steel.
If we consider in 1885, Andrew Carnegie started the Carnegie Steel Corporation and by 1883 Andrew Carnegie purchased the Homestead Steel Works, shows how driven Andrew Carnegie was in forging ahead with industrial production of steel to meet the growing needs at the time for a versatile metal such as steel.
Today, steel is used in the manufacture of vehicles, computers, airplanes, even the cutlery you eat with. The uses of steel are endless and so it was an opportune time for Andrew Carnegie. The investments he made also determined a single handed purpose in industrialization.
By time 1901, Andrew Carnegie and his steel conglomerate which had taken over other steel plants had become a giant in steel production. In 1901 Andrew Carnegie sold to J.P. Morgan the steel company for $480,000,000.00, making Andrew Carnegie the richest person in the world at the time, even surpassing John D. Rockefeller in net worth.
Andrew Carnegie went on to focus on his philanthropic aims, building libraries, schools and colleges.
When we compare Andrew Carnegie’s wealth at the time to the richest people in the 2nd Millennium, we find that Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and others net worth don’t come close to the steel magnates net worth in currently adjusted value. These are masses of wealth from the golden age of the industrial revolution. Shortly after leading to a great depression in the US, wealth as was known to Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, and John D Rockefeller are such great wealth that it is hard to find such an achievement.
Here is a quick timeline of Andrew Carnegie:
1848 – Andrew Carnegie moves to Pittsburgh from Scotland with his family looking for a better life and begins working as a bobbin boy for a cotton factory
1849 – Andrew Carnegie starts working as a messenger for a telegraph company
1853 – Andrew Carnegie starts working for Thomas A. Scott at the Pennsylvania Railroad corporation
1856 – Andrew Carnegie invests in sleeping cars
1861 – Andrew Carnegie makes investments into oil companies
1865 – Andrew Carnegie starts up Keystone Bridge Company
1875 – Andrew Carnegie starts his first steel plant
1883 – Andrew Carnegie purchases Homestead Steel Works
1892 – Andrew Carnegie forms Carnegie Steel
1901 – Andrew Carnegie sells steel company to J. P. Morgan for $480 million dollars which went on to become the first billion dollar company