Age of Great Inventions
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late nineteenth century and became the archetypal industrial entrepreneur.
Carnegie set a model for big business and industry as an early and enthusiastic adopter of new technologies. After touring Europe and seeing the Bessemer blast furnace that had revolutionized British steelmaking, Carnegie pioneered the American use of the technology at his Braddock, Pennsylvania steel works in the 1870s. This established the model on which Carnegie built his empire. He was among the first to implement the open-hearth steelmaking process later in the century. Still, Carnegie was regarded as an innovator in his own right for his ingenious, if ruthless, cost-cutting production and organizational strategies. These assets made him both famous as one of the world's wealthiest men, and infamous as a central figure in the era's labor struggles.