Andrew Carnegie was born on November 25th, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland. He lived
for a short time in a one-room weaver’s house with another family, before moving to a slightly
larger house on Edgar Street. Andrew’s father was a handloom weaver by the name of William
Carnegie. At that time Scotland was in starvation and William decided to move his family to
Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Andrew’s first job in 1848 was a bobbin-boy, changing spools of
thread in a cotton mill twelve hours a day, six days a week, with a wage of about $1.25 per
week. William Carnegie started off working in a cotton factory, but soon had to earn more
money by weaving and peddling linens. Andrew’s mother, Margret Morrison Carnegie, earned
money by binding shoes.
In 1850, Andrew became a telegraph messenger in the Pittsburg Office of the Ohio
Telegraph Company, at $2.50 a week. Carnegie had an impressive memory and memorized the
faces of important men and local businesses. He made plenty of connections this way. He also
memorized the telegraph mechanics and was soon promoted to operator.