Henry Bessemer

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Henry Bessemer
BirthplaceCharlton, Hertfordshire, England
engineer and inventor
Known for Development of the Bessemer process for the manufacture of steel.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bessemer, Henry


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.


Sorokin, Iu. N. “Genri Bessemer.” In Voprosy istorii estestvonaniia i tekhniki, issue 1. Moscow, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.