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Steel CityEntrepreneurship, Strategy, and Technology in Sheffield 1743-1993$
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Geoffrey Tweedale

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288664

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198288664.001.0001

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Business Performance and Industrial Structure to 1914

Business Performance and Industrial Structure to 1914

Chapter:
(p.99) 3 Business Performance and Industrial Structure to 1914
Source:
Steel City
Author(s):

Geoffrey Tweedale

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198288664.003.0026

As economic historians have described the two decades before the First World War, this period is perceived as the turning point in the British steel industry's development as these were the years wherein the discoveries of Huntsman, Bessemer, and Siemens were furthered and utilized overseas. The Edgar Thompson rails works of Andrew Carnegie proved to be one of the first wonders seen in the industrial world. This chapter makes it evident that the Germans and the Americans were increasingly surpassing the competitive lead of their British rivals during this period. The superiority of the Germans and the Americans is said to have been rooted in how the British failed to adopt immediately ‘basic’ processes since they refused to join cartels, their works proved to be too small, they were not able to employ scientifically trained personnel, and they were not willing to invest enough in erecting new plants. This chapter looks into the period between 1893 and 1914 and examines the growth in the production and technology attributed to special steel.

Keywords:   British steel industry, production, technology, special steel, basic process, Germany, America

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