The year 1742 marks the starting point when the mediaeval town Sheffield began to transform itself into the “World’s Steel Capital”. In that year Benjamin Huntsman invented cast steel. A little over 100 years later an engineer called Sir Henry Bessemer invented a method of mass-producing steel with his so-called Bessemer converter. Shortly after that Robert Forrester Mushet invented a new form of alloy steel, and in 1913 Harry Brearley produced the first stainless steel. Correspondingly there is a huge range of goods boasting the label “Made in Sheffield”.
The Kelham Island Museum, housed on the site of a disused generating station, is an impressive presentation of the city’s industrial heritage. Here you can see one of the most powerful steam engines in the world. Alongside it stands a massive Bessemer converter whose invention in 1856 revolutionised steel manufacturing. “Little mesters” symbolise Sheffield’s longstanding craft tradition. These were the forgers, grinders and toolmakers who turned the term “Made in Sheffield” into an internationally famous trademark.