Born to a weaver in Dunfermline, Andrew Carnegie became one of the richest Americans in history yet gave away most of his fortune to charities, trusts and universities.
The award-winning Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum tells his rags-to-riches story and gives a fascinating insight into one of the greatest philanthropists in history.
This smallish museum has a great balance of information, exhibits and activities. Lots of visitors comment that they stayed longer than they thought they would!
The highlight of a visit is the humble cottage where Carnegie was born and spent the first few years of his life. You’ll really get a sense of the cramped conditions and how the weaving looms dominated family life. Sadly, the advent of industrialism made home weaving obsolete and the family emigrated to America with just a few possessions.
Many items in the museum’s collection – including art, photographs and archive documents - were donated by Louise Whitfield Carnegie, the wife of Andrew Carnegie.
The museum follows Carnegie's journey from his first business to how he became the richest man in the world. He earned millions in America’s steel industry, and you’ll discover what motivated him to donate his wealth to social causes such as libraries, education and international peace.
His Carnegie Dunfermline Trust was tasked with bringing more “sweetness and light” to the people of Dunfermline and continues to make grants to this day.
Find out about the famous landmarks he founded and uncover some surprising links with Marie Curie, Helen Keller, Theodore Roosevelt and even King Edward V11.
There’s plenty for children to see and do including trying their hand at morse code, becoming a detective or spotting the Carnegie bunnies. The audio tour, narrated by children from the local primary school, really brings the museum to life. In October 2019 the museum became the first Scottish institution to win the Family Friendly Museum Award.