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Portrait of Henry Bessemer, 1813-1898

Portrait of Henry Bessemer, 1813-1898

H402/0056

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Portrait of the British engineer and inventor, Sir Henry Bessemer, 1813-1898. When he was 20 Bessemer invented a new method for stamping deeds, which was promptly adopted by the British government. The Crimean War directed his attention to the need for a new metal for guns. Cast iron is hard but brittle; wrought iron is rather soft. Steel was what was needed but at that time it was extremely expensive to manufacture. Bessemer designed a method for blowing air through molten crude iron to remove carbon & produce quality steel by stopping the process at the right time. The reaction generates heat & thus reduced fuel costs & dramatically lowered the price of the product.

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