This is the eighth in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical TV miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story. (Click here to see all Al’s columns on the program and its subjects.)
Post #8: Carnegie’s Childhood.
Andrew Carnegie was born in a small town in Scotland in November of 1835. His parents didn’t put him in school until he was eight years old, and when they did the cheapest school in town was all they could afford. There was only one teacher, and the class size varied between 150 and 180 students during the four or five years he was able to attend. When his family left Scotland his school days ended; from then on he would have to educate himself in what little spare time was available to a child who worked sixty hours a week in a sweatshop.