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.

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1884 Henry Fairchild leased a 150,000-acre tract of mineral land on Red Mountain and two years later founded, in cooperation with others, the industrial center of Bessemer, named for the Englishman Sir Henry Bessemer.
The British metallurgist Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) sought a way of removing the carbon from cast iron more cheaply.
Not only that, but the twenty yards of material needed for this phenomenon were supplemented by so many petticoats that women were seriously weighed down by it all until the steel magnate, Sir Henry Bessemer, came to the rescue in 1856 with his method of manufacturing sprung steel, from which a cage was made to replace the petticoats.
Independently, Henry Bessemer had perfected the technique in England in 1856.