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Henry Bessemer was born on January 19, 1813 in Charlton, Hertfordshire, England. He developed the first process of producing steel ion great amounts inexpensively. The dominant steel producing technique used today is a development of the one made by Bessmer.

Bessemer was the son of an engineer and a type founder. He showed promising mechanical skill and inventiveness early in life. He made his first fortune selling "gold" powder made from brass as a paint additive. Bessemer's secret formula was used to adorn much of the gilded decoration of his time, and brought him great wealth.

On October of 1855 Bessemer took out a patent for his process of rendering cast iron malleable by the introduction of air into the fluid metal to remove carbon. The story of Bessemer's steel process is a classic example of the militaries driving force to technological development. During the Crimean War Bessemer invented a new type of artillery shell. 

Among the many honors of Bessemer's life were a Knighthood by the British crown and the Fellowship of the Royal Society. Bessemer died in London on March 14, 1898.

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