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A Quick History of the Steel Industry

By October 13, 2017December 16th, 2021No Comments

The steel industry has a rich and complex history, there’s no doubt about it. From the humble beginnings that date back to 4,000 years ago, to the modern technological innovations of today, it is safe to say that without stainless steel our world wouldn’t be the same. Here’s a quick history of steel through the ages.

  • The earliest form of steel can be traced back to the beginnings of the Iron Age
    Because iron ore was seen to be harder and stronger than bronze, more and more cultures began to use iron when creating different tools.
  • Seventeenth century urbanization required the need for a stronger material
    There was a need for not only a more versatile material but a material that was able to create structures and bridges.
  • The rise of the railroad in the 19th century made steel a household name
    This was especially true in the United States when more and more Americans were looking to move west with the help of the new and expanding railroads.
  • The Bessemer Process was born in 1856
    As a way to keep up with the increasing demands for a stronger material, Henry Bessemer developed an effective way to use oxygen to reduce the carbon content in iron. Due to this, a stronger material was made and the modern steel industry as we know it was born. Stainless steel tools and beams were able to help efficiently produce a railroad system that didn’t break down or wear down easily.
  • U.S. Steel was born in 1901
    At the time, the world’s largest company, U.S. Steel, was formed. Because of this merger, the scale of steel production grew rapidly.
  • Kenneth Iverson adopted the German way of creating EAF technology
    Electric arc furnace technology was a German invention that used less energy when producing steel. This was brought to light in the 1980s and the amount of energy used to produce a ton of steel has been reduced by 34% since 1972.

As one can see, the steel industry is ever-growing and ever-evolving. So think of these facts the next time you pull out those stainless steel tools for your next project!


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