Talk:Andrew Carnegie

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quote about the boat and the picture[edit]

Does anyone know what the source or the exact words of the quote related to the boat & oar picture that Carnegie kept for some time? (As far as I have heard, the quote isn't really due to Carnegie but it was his lifetime motto)

There are two versions of the story which go like this:

first version[edit]

Carnegie in his later years kept in his office an old painting of a boat and an oar on a sandy beach, drawn by some unknown painter. The picture itself was in no way of artistic value but at the bottom of it was a sentence that read something like ... "The high tide will come. On that day, I will go out to the sea."

The exact wording of this sentence is what I don't remember (and would like to know) but the message it gave to Carnegie was to be persistent and to never give up.

It is said that he found this picture in his 20s when he used to be a traveling salesman. And that sentence has been his lifetime motto ever since.

second version[edit]

Carnegie visited the mayor of the city he lived in, found that painting in the mayor's office, and was deeply touched by it. And that saying became his motto from that point on.

Immer in Bewegung 23:14, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Anything in life worth having is worth working for!
    • Autobiography
  • No amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor.
  • The average person puts about 25 percent of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50 percent of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100 percent.
  • I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.
  • As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
  • Watch the costs, and the profits will take care of themselves.
  • There ain't no money in pioneering.

Watch what they do, not what they say[edit]

This modern aphorism may come from something Carnegie said:

  • (?) As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. —

Needs investigation, but I think Goodreads is usually pretty reliable. The Freakonomics guy reprised it.

Another version of it is frequently misattributed to Churchill. Mathglot (talk) 21:37, 26 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]