Henry Bessemer Facts

Henry Bessemer Facts
Sir Henry Bessemer (19 January 1813 to 15 March 1898) was an English engineer, inventor, and businessman. Bessemer's name is chiefly known in connection with the Bessemer process for the manufacture of steel.
Interesting Henry Bessemer Facts:
Henry was born in Charlton, son of successful inventor Anthony Bessemer.
Henry Bessemer's earliest successful invention was a complex steam-driven machine for making the bronze powder used in gold paint.
The only place bronze powder had been available was Nuremberg, Germany and it was very expensive.
The new Bessemer process made the manufacture of bronze powder cheaper and simpler and reduced the price to 1/40th of its previous cost.
From 1850 to 1855 Bessemer worked on the problem of making cheap steel for use in various industries.
Prior to the Bessemer process, steel was prohibitively expensive to produce and many industries had to rely on cast iron which was much less strong.
There had been many railway bridge disasters when cast iron bridge supports simply collapsed.
On 24 August 1856 Bessemer reported his process to the British Science Association in a paper titled "The Manufacture of Iron without Fuel.
The Bessemer process forced air through melted iron which raised the temperature, burned off the impurities and removed carbon which simplified the manufacture of steel.
Because Bessemer was unable to persuade existing iron companies to use his method, he and his partners built their own enormously profitable iron works in Sheffield, England.
From 1838 to 1883 Bessemer held 129 patents for his various inventions including for movable dies for embossed government stamps, a device to extract sugar from sugar and a machine to polish diamonds.
In 1868 he designed a gimbaled device for passenger ships to keep them level during rough seas but it was never put into actual use.
In 1857 he obtained a patent for a machine to roll steel and his original idea is still in use.
In 1879 Bessemer was knighted for his contributions and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society.


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