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Forged by Fire: How Pain Leads to Great Gain (Part One)

Eads Bridge is the world's first steel-truss bridge, and an engineering marvel. After the Civil War the nation’s railways were quickly expanding and trains needed a way to cross the Mississippi River. The challenge was developing metal strong enough to support heavy trains traveling across such a large divide as the Mississippi River. In the 1860’s Andrew Carnegie, an American industrialist and entrepreneur led the way in strengthening American steel to meet the need.

Steel is forged from iron ore. Iron ore is mined from the earth, then heated to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit to remove impurities that weaken the metal. As the metal is heated it is stretched and pounded. Extreme heat, stretching, and pounding transforms weak metal into strong steel.

History’s greatest leaders were forged in the heat, stretching, and pounding of tough times. Abraham Lincoln grew up dirt poor. His mother died early in life. Lincoln lost his sister while she was giving birth to her child. Lincoln lost jobs, went bankrupt, was defeated in political races, failed at business, and in 1836 he had a nervous br