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Carnegie Birthplace Museum

Andrew Carnegie's birthplace, Dunfermline
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Andrew Carnegie's birthplace, Dunfermline

Situated near the centre of Dunfermline in West Fife, No. 2 Moodie Street is an 18th-century pantiled weaver's cottage where Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist and benefactor, was born in 1835. The cottage was bought as a surprise 60th birthday present for Carnegie by his wife, Louise, in 1895, and subsequently let out to tenants. Now a museum, it was extended in 1925 with the construction of the adjacent Memorial Building designed by James Shearer (1881 - 1962). This had been proposed and funded by Mrs. Carnegie after the death of her husband. The linked Birthplace Cottage and Memorial Hall were formally opened on 28th June 1928.

Through artefacts and displays, the museum describes the birth, life and work of the local boy who became the richest man in the world and father of modern philanthropy. Of the £70 million Carnegie gave to charity about £1 million came to benefit Dunfermline, where the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust is based. Gifts to the town included the Carnegie Centre, the Carnegie Free Library, the Carnegie Hall and Pittencrieff Park.

The museum also explains the cultivation of flax and the handloom-weaving of linen cloth, a trade concentrated in Fife, Perthshire and Angus.


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