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|Birthplace||Charlton, Hertfordshire, England|
engineer and inventor
|Known for||Development of the Bessemer process for the manufacture of steel.|
Born Jan. 19,1813, in Charlton, Hertfordshire; died Mar. 15, 1898, in London. English inventor; member of the Royal Society (from 1879).
Bessemer had more than 100 patents for inventions in various fields of technology, among which were a needle punch for postage stamps, a type foundry machine (1838), a machine for pressing sugarcane (1849), and a centrifugal pump (1850). Work on the improvement of a heavy artillery shell in 1854 led him to seek a better method of producing cast steel for gun barrels. In 1856, Bessemer patented a converter to transform molten pig iron into steel by blowing air without the expenditure of fuel, which became the basis for the so-called Bessemer process. In 1860 he patented a rotating converter with the air supplied through the bottom and a trunnion, a design that has basically been retained to the present. Bessemer proposed the idea of continuous steel casting.