QUESTION: Who was the powerful railroad tycoon who brought Andrew Carnegie into the War Department during the Civil War?
A) Abraham Lincoln
B) John Rockefeller
C) Tom Scott
D) Cornelius Vanderbilt
We began talking about Andrew Carnegie yesterday - a poor boy born in Scotland who proved that immigrants can do amazing things when encouraged by their adopted country. Carnegie started work as a teenager in a cotton mill, and by the time he was 29 in 1864 he was establishing himself in the new American iron and steel industries. The railroads contracted with him to produce bridges for their trains to cross, and tracks to use to cross them, while ensuring that the railroad men also saw some of the profits themselves. Mutually beneficial, they worked together to create enormous wealth. Carnegie focused his life on building his wealth, educating himself, and giving to the less advantaged. He did not marry until he was fifty-one, waiting until his mother passed away. And then he became REALLY wealthy. His steel factories produced enough to allow American cities to start growing taller - skyscrapers began dominating the urban world. When his employees began striking for safer work conditions, better wages and improved hours, Carnegie began questioning the merit of his industry.
He sold his steel factories to J.P. Morgan in 1901, earning well over two-hundred million dollars (over six billion dollars in today's money). That equaled retirement. Carnegie spent the last eighteen years of his life spending his money. He bought a castle in Scotland and had a mansion built in Manhattan (now the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum), but more significantly he built libraries. Remembering the powerful influence of reading on his life as a teenager, he had over three thousand libraries constructed across the world, hoping to inspire the next generation. And the generation after that. And so on. He also sponsored the construction of over seven thousand church organs in the effort to promote musical appreciation. There is also some sort of Hall he named after himself in Manhattan. And we have a delightful image of Mr. Carnegie right here, in Oaks, Pennsylvania! Come check it out! Or go to the library. Or both!
ANSWER: C) Tom Scott. Honestly, we just talked about him yesterday. We hope you got this one right.