During the last few years the United States
has made a remarkable advance in the production and manufacture of iron and steel, and in no line has this progress been so marked as in the yield of Bessemer
steel, that form made from pig-iron
from which all the carbon has been removed.
The process was invented by Sir Henry Bessemer
(born in (Charlton, England
, Jan. 13, 1813; died in London
March 14, 1898), and consists of forcing a current of air through the molten mass of iron.
During the calendar year 1899, the production of this form of steel in the United States
amounted to 7,586,354 gross tons in ingots, an increase in a year of more than 14 per cent., and more than double the productions of 1894 and 1896). In 1899 the/un> maximum production of Bessemer
steel rails \was reached, when the output was 2,240,767 gross tons.
In the production of ingots Pennsylvania
ranked first, with 3,968,779 tons; Ohio second, with 1,679,237; and Illinois third, with 1,211,246 ; and in the production of Bessemer
steel rails Pennsylvania
ranked first, with 1,224,807 tons.
the remainder being divided between the other States.
A further evidence of the remarkable growth of the allied iron and steel industry is found in the commercial returns of the United States Treasury Department for the first ten months of 1900, which show that more than $100,000,000 worth of iron and steel was exported.
Of this total the value of steel rails alone aggregated $12,000,000.