glyph 510: book, autobiography ... history of invention . metal, manufacturing, industry ... England


Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898)

inventor of the pneumatic process for the manufacture of steel

From the Preface of Sir Henry Bessemer, F.R.S: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:

A very few considerations will serve to show that the Bessemer invention takes its rank with the great events which have changed the face of society since the time of the Middle Ages. The invention of printing, the construction of the magnetic compass, the discovery of America, and the introduction of the steam-engine, are the only capital events in modern history which belong to the same category as the Bessemer process. They are all examples of the law and progress which evolve social and moral results from material discoveries and inventions. It is inconceivable to us how the world ever existed without the appliances of modem civilisation; and it is quite certain that it we were deprived of the results of these inventions the greater portion of the human race would perish by starvation, and the remainder would relapse into barbarism. ...

—Abram S. Hewitt, an engineer of universal reputation, and one of the pioneers of the Bessemer Process in the United States, speaking at the American meeting of the London Iron and Steel Institute, in 1890.

Autobiography of Sir Henry Bessemer [scanned - large file]
Autobiography of Sir Henry Bessemer [html - small files]
Schumpeter — waves of creative destruction [link]
April 24, 2011

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