Sir Henry Bessemer(1813-1898), Engineer and inventor
Sitter in 6 portraits
Sir Henry Bessemer developed the first process for inexpensively mass-producing steel. The son of an engineer, Bessemer gained experience in his father's workshop where he demonstrated considerable mechanical skill and inventiveness early in life. In 1855, Bessemer took out a patent for his process of rendering cast iron malleable by the introduction of air into the fluid metal. During the Crimean War he invented a new type of artillery shell after complaints from the army that the cast-iron cannon of the time were not strong enough to deal with the forces of the more powerful shell. He developed an improved iron smelting process that produced large quantities of ingots of superior quality.
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.