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Bessemer-Mushet Process or Manufacture of Cheap Steel

Author: Mushet

Originally, steel could only be made in small quantities, at inordinate expense in fuel and labour. In 1856 Bessemer announced the discovery of his pneumatic (converter) process, which allowed cheap mass production of vast amounts of steel. Bessemer sold many licences to ironmasters - only to discover that his process would frequently not work! One of the problems encountered: the blown steel was wild, i.e. highly over-oxidised. The solution of this problem should be credited to Forest-of-Dean ironmaster Robert Forrester Mushet. Since about 1848 Mushet had been using additions of Spiegeleisen (manganese-rich pig iron) to his crucible steels, to improve their homogeneity. Spiegeleisen helped solve Bessemer's problem miraculously, and its addition rapidly became standard practice. Mushet's original patent was however ineffective in protecting this addition, and he never saw a penny in royalties. By 1890, Bessemer had received over one million pounds sterling in royalties for the pneumatic process.

The story related in this book (a facsimile reprint of a private publication, which first appeared in 1883) is Mushet's account of how Bessemer appropriated his technology without ever even acknowledging his contribution. In many ways a sad account.

Part of our Metallurgical Reprint Series.

Robert Forrester Mushet

Robert Forrester Mushet

eerste uitgave / first published type medium dim. omvang / extent binding prijs / price
1883 heruitgave / re-edition boek / book A5 xii+64 pp paperback € 20,00
hardcover € 30,00