Sir Henry Bessemer (1813 – 1898)

(born Jan. 19, 1813, Charlton, Hertfordshire, Eng.—died March 15, 1898, london), inventor and engineer who developed the first process for manufacture steel inexpensively (1856), leading to the development of the Bessemer converter. He was knighted in 1879.

Bessemer was the son of an engineer and type founder. He early showed considerable mechanical skill and inventive powers. After the invention of movable stamps for dating deeds and other government documents and the improvement of a typesetting machine, he went to the manufacture of “gold” powder from brass for use in paints. The florid decoration of the time demanded great quantities of such material, and Bessemer’s secret process soon brought him great wealth.