Hantsmen Benjamin

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Hantsmen Benjamin

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    Short biography

    Benjamin Hantsmen (1704 –1776) was the English inventor and manufacturer of cast steel in crucibles. He began his business as the manufacturer of watches, locks and tools in Doncaster and deserved a great reputation for the scientific knowledge and skills.

    Poor quality of steel hindered his work, therefore Hantsmen experimented with steel manufacture. In some years of tests he presented the excellent alloyed steel which was stronger than others. However manufacturers of knife products in Sheffield refused to buy it, thinking that it was too hard. That is why Hantsmen had been exporting all his production to France during a long time.

    Increasing competitiveness of imported French knife products made of Hantsmen's alloyed steel excited Sheffield knife manufacturers. After vain attempts to receive the sanction for steel export they had to use it for self-defense. Hantsmen did not patent his invention and the secret was revealed by Sheffield steelmaker Walker. According to the national legend, Walker had got access to Hantsmen's works having changed clothes in the hungry beggar and asked a lodging for the night.

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