Steel. It’s everywhere. In the cars we drive, the appliances we use, the buildings we work in and the money in our pockets. It’s almost impossible to get through the day without coming into contact with steel.
The iron and steel industry have been an important part of the UK economy for hundreds of years, from the early blast furnaces of the middle ages, through the Bessemer years in the late 19th century, to the modern industry that we recognise today.
Throughout this time, like-minded individuals have come together to develop new and innovative ways to make and use iron and steel. One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1869, the first formal UK Iron and Steel Society was founded: a group of Victorian Ironmasters who wanted to ensure the UK industry could withstand increasing competition from Europe. The Iron and Steel Society is still going strong and is now a division of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), the leading professional institution for those working in all fields of materials.
To celebrate this auspicious anniversary, the current Iron and Steel Society has developed a unique digital archive detailing how the industry has evolved over this time and the impact it has had on our society. Every month during 2019, the Iron and Steel Society will be launching a new subject area. March’s topic is the Industrial Evolution of Steel, featuring a timeline of industry innovations and a glimpse into what future steelmaking technology might look like.