Tuesday, 7 June 2016



From a very interesting and informing book  entitled ' The Inside History of the Carnegie Steel Company,' by Jas. Howard Bridge, the following extracts are taken. The author was for a time Carnegie's private secretary, and has had sources of information which are evidently correct.
 He traces the early beginnings of the brothers Kloman, who laid the foundations of the now stupendous Billion-dollar Steel Combine.
 Though viewing the growth of the industry through capitalist-class spectacles, the writer shows how Carnegie and Co. exploited brains and muscle — the mental and manual labor of the workers — from start to present, thus showing its social evolution and character.
 Frick evidently inspired the book, and that implacable foe of labor is pictured almost as a god.
 In the author's preface he says :
 'The Carnegie Steel Company . . . is not the creation of any man, nor indeed of any set of men. It is a natural evolution ; and the conditions of its growth are of the same general character as those of the 'flower in the crannied wall.' Andrew Carnegie has somewhere said, in effect :
 'Take away all our money, our great works, ore mines, and coke ovens, but leave our organisation and in four years I shall have re-established myself.'
 He might have gone a step farther and eliminated himself and his organisation ; and in less than four years the steel industry would have recovered from the loss.
 " This is not the popular conception of industrial evolution, which demands captains, corporals and other heroes; but it accords with evolutionary conceptions in general. The inevitableness of industrial growth is frankly recognised by the most far-seeing but least talkative member of the group : 'The demands of modern life,' says Mr. Frick, 'called for such works as ours ; and if we had not met the demands others would have done so. Even without us the steel industry of the country would have been just as great as it is, though men would have used other names in speaking of its leaders.'
 This is a frank acknowledgment, from one of themselves, that the kings of industrialism have no divine right.
 " The men who were instrumental in building up this great business were, originally at least, none of them philanthropists. There was hardly a step in their progress which had the impulse of unqualified unselfishness ; and if, in the light of retrospection, some of their actions seem inconsistent with book morality, it must be remembered that in the fight for industrial life, as in that earlier for physical existence, the victory is not to the gentle and tender-hearted, but to the others. No great business has yet been built on the beatitudes ; and it is not all cynicism that condenses a negative decalogue into a positive exhortation to be successful — 'somehow.' "
 Yes: be successful — its gospel; well summed up — "somehow!" But collective labor must work to produce the wealth.
 The steel co. owns the entire harbour of Connecticut ; nine ships can be docked at the same time ; 25,000 tons of all classes of freight can be handled every ten hours. The most modern machinery is used for handling ore and coal — a 6000 ton ship can be cleared in fourteen hours ; and in the same time from the moment the batches are opened the ore can be at the furnaces at Pittsburg.
 A steam shovel can load a train of thirty-five to forty cars with ore in two hours ; a forty-ton car of coal can be unloaded and partly trimmed in the ship in thirty-six seconds.
 5800 tons of ore have been mined and loaded into cars by one steam shovel in ten hours; and the output for the month was 164,000 tons. This was the work of eight men.
 Three such machines mined from its natural bed 915,000 tons of ore during one season, working day shift only.
 Five tons of ore are lifted by the machine each stroke ; and five full weight lifts will fill a car. A 25 ton car can be filled in two and a half minutes, which is at the rate of 600,000 tons an hour.
" While public sentiment has rightly and unmistakably condemned violence even in the form for which there is most excuse, I would have the public give due consideration to the terrible temptation to which the working man on a strike is sometimes subjected. To expect that one dependent on his daily wage for the necessaries of life will stand by peaceably and see a new man employed in his stead is to expect much. This poor man may have a wife and children dependent upon his labor. Whether medicine for a sick child, or even nourishing food for a delicate wife, is procurable, depends upon his steady employment.
 "In all but a very few departments of labor it is unnecessary and I think improper to subject men to such an ordeal. In the case of railways and a few other employments it is, of course, essential for the public wants that no interruption occur, and in such case substitutes must be employed ; but the employer of labor will find it much more to his interest, wherever possible, to allow his works to remain idle and await the result of a dispute than to employ a class of men that can be induced to take the place of other men who have stopped work. Neither the best men as men, nor the best men as workers, are thus to be obtained. There is an unwritten law among the best workmen: Thou shalt not take thy neighbour's job."
 July 31, 1902.
 The following incident is described by the papers at the time :
 " Which for a church the biggest mill in America, boarded by a high fence and a protectorate of 150 armed watchmen, with 1000 soldiers in easy reach, the non-union men in the Homestead plant gave thanks to God this morning. About 400 of the men had gathered in the beam mill and found seats on rough, improvised benches.
 An orchestra from Pittsburg played "Nearer my God, to Thee," and chaplain Adams of the 16th Regiment, standing where the sunshine glistened on his epaulets, preached a sermon that touched many hearts, on a famed biblical character, Saul of Tarsus."
 Nearer my God, to Thee! Yes, the parson was near his Go(l)d, the only one worshipped by the holy men and their masters.

People 25 Mar. 1905

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