Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie

By Andrew Carnegie | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
PARTNERS, BOOKS, AND TRAVEL

WHEN Mr. Kloman had severed his connection with us there was no hesitation in placing William Borntraeger in charge of the mills. It has always been with especial pleasure that I have pointed to the career of William. He came direct from Germany -- a young man who could not speak English, but being distantly connected with Mr. Kloman was employed in the mills, at first in a minor capacity. He promptly learned English and became a shipping clerk at six dollars per week. He had not a particle of mechanical knowledge, and yet such was his unflagging zeal and industry for the interests of his employer that he soon became marked for being everywhere about the mill, knowing everything, and attending to everything.

William was a character. He never got over his German idioms and his inverted English made his remarks very effective. Under his superintendence the Union Iron Mills became a most profitable branch of our business. He had overworked himself after a few years' application and we decided to give him a trip to Europe. He came to New York by way of Washington. When he called upon me in New York he expressed himself as more anxious to return to Pittsburgh than to revisit Germany. In ascending the Washington Monument he had seen the Carnegie beams in the stairway and also at other points in public buildings, and as he expressed it:

"It yust make me so broud dat I want to go right back and see dat everyting is going right at de mill."

Early hours in the morning and late in the dark hours

-198-

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