"Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the U.S., by the 1880s he’d built an empire in steel — and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country."
— Susan Stamberg reports on Carnegie’s library legacy. Read more here.
Striking workers and Pinkerton strike-breakers on the Monongahela River. National Police Gazette. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (via)
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: July 6, 1892
Three hundred Pinkerton men were engaged by millworkers in a pitched battle at the Homestead works after arriving via the Monongahela River on two barges; 16 men were killed and many more wounded. [Historic Pittsburgh]
When 300 Pinkerton Detectives came ashore at Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead mill on July 6, 1892, they had no idea of the extreme violence with which locked-out steelworkers would greet them. A hail of stones, then bullets, ripped the air. Steelworker William Foy and the captain of the Pinkertons fell wounded.
What had begun as a simple disagreement over wages between the nations largest steelmaker and its largest craft union, the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, had taken a decidedly savage turn. Before the struggle ended, Amalgamated would be humbled, Carnegie’s control of his labor force complete. (more)
“Andrew Carnegie” returns for the closing of the historic Carnegie Building, 1952 (via The Pittsburgh Press)
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: March 1, 1952
At midnight 100 men of the United States Steel Corporation sat around a horseshoe table in the Carnegie Building, then emptied of all tenants, and drank a toast to what had been “steel headquarters” for 57 years. At 8 a.m., demolition crews began the long and arduous task of disassembling this structure, beam by beam, to clear the site for a Kaufmann’s annex. [Historic Pittsburgh]
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: November 25, 1881
Andrew Carnegie made his first move to create a free library for Pittsburgh; he offered $250,000 on the condition that the city government agree to appropriate $15,000 annually for its maintenance. The city was unable to accept the gift as it had no funds on hand for such a purpose. [Historic Pittsburgh]