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Youth Born 25 November 1835 in Dunfermline Scotland His father William Carnegie was a master handloom weaver like his father and grandfather before him He was a weaver who made fine damask linen with elaborate designs Aside damask linen means a linen fabric with a woven design Linen thread comes from the fiber of the Flax plant By 1835 the invention of the Cotton Gin in 1793 which made cotton cheap and a readily available alternative to both linen and wool -- and the development of power looms meant that the days of the master handloom weaver were numbered Carnegies mother Margaret was frugal neat hard-working with a strong and determined personality Emotionally she was a stronger person than her husband William Andrew Carnegie did not go to school until the age of 8 Indulged by his parents they had foolishly told him that he did not have to go to school until he decided to do so At age 8 the local schoolmaster persuaded Andrew that schooling was a good thing By the time the Carnegie family emigrated to America in 1848 Andrew had had only 5 years of formal education and this in a classroom with up to 180 children in it He could read write perform basic arithmetic and knew a little Latin and a few poems By Andrews birth in 1835 there were already over 100000 power looms in the British cotton textile industry and the technology was rapidly spreading to the other textiles The amount of work done by the hand weavers slowly declined until nearly all were out of work by the mid 1840s Carnegies family had to move to a smaller house and his Mother began running a little shop in the house where she sold food and sewed shoes on consignment in the evenings Finally in 1847 a large steam power weaving factory opened in Dunfermline ending for good the handloom
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