"The child who is granted the opportunity to grow up in an area like Dunfermline draws in with every breath poetry and romance, with every look he absorbs the environment, the history and traditions of his home town. These first impressions will remain locked in his memory until death; they may disappear for a short time but they will always return and fill his thoughts, giving light and color to his life.
Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum Map
Moodie Street, Dunfermline KY12 7PL, Scotland
Mar 1 to Nov 30: 10am-5pm; Sun: 2pm-5pm
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
No intelligent child from Dunfermline can erase the memories of the monastery, the palace and the gorge. They touch his soul, they fan the spark within into a flame, they make something different, something greater out of him, than would have been the case if he had been less fortunate in the place where he was born." These were the words that Andrew Carnegie the steel magnate and philanthropist used to describe the town of his birth in his memoirs of 1920. In fact, few inhabitants of Dunfermline at that time would have waxed quite so lyrical about life in the "Hungry 1840s", but this warmth reflected the long-lasting affection that Carnegie, like many other emigrants, felt for his home town.
The small cottage in Moodie Street where Carnegie was born in 1835 is now part of a museum devoted to his life. A comprehensive collection of pictures and documents describes how a poor weaver's son became one of the richest industrialists and greatest benefactors of his time, the man who was the embodiment of the "American dream". On the ground floor of the museum stands the Jacquard loom that his father William Carnegie used to earn the paltry sum of 42 pence a day.
Dunfermline can thank the town's favorite son for the nearby Carnegie Hall, the Carnegie Clinic, the Carnegie Leisure Center in Pilmuir Street (dating from 1877 it was probably the first public swimming pool in Scotland), the Central Library, the first of almost 300 free lending libraries, and also Pittencrieff Park.