Talbot, Benjamin

Talbot, Benjamin
SUBJECT AREA: Metallurgy
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b. 19 September 1864 Wellington, Shropshire, England
d. 16 December 1947 Solberge Hall, Northallerton, Yorkshire, England
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Talbot, William Henry Fox English steelmaker and businessman who introduced a technique for producing steel "continuously" in large tilting basic-lined open-hearth furnaces.
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After spending some years at his father's Castle Ironworks and at Ebbw Vale Works, Talbot travelled to the USA in 1890 to become Superintendent of the Southern Iron and Steel Company of Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he initiated basic open-hearth steelmaking and a preliminary slag washing to remove silicon. In 1893 he moved to Pennsylvania as Steel Superintendent at the Pencoyd works; there, six years later, he began his "continuous" steelmaking process. Returning to Britain in 1900, Talbot marketed the technique: after ten years it was in successful use in Britain, continental Europe and the USA; it promoted the growth of steel production.
Meanwhile its originator had joined the Cargo Fleet Iron Company Limited on Teesside, where he was made Managing Director in 1907. Twelve years later he assumed, in addition, the same position in the allied South Durham Steel and Iron Company Limited. While remaining Managing Director, he was appointed Deputy Chairman of both companies in 1925, and Chairman in 1940. The companies he controlled survived the depressed 1920s and 1930s and were significant contributors to British steel output, with a capacity of more than half a million tonnes per year.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
President, Iron and Steel Institute 1928, and (British) National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers. Iron and Steel Institute (London) Bessemer Gold Medal 1908. Franklin Institute (Philadelphia), Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, and John Scott Medal 1908.
Bibliography
1900, "The open-hearth continuous steel process", Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute 57 (1):33–61.
1903, "The development of the continuous open-hearth process", Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute 63(1):57–73.
1905, "Segregation in steel ingots", Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute 68(2):204–23. 1913, "The production of sound steel by lateral compression of the ingot whilst its centre is liquid", Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute 87(1):30–55.
Further Reading
G.Boyce, 1986, entry in Dictionary of Business Biography, Vol. V, ed. J.Jeremy, Butterworth.
W.G.Willis, 1969, South Durham Steel and Iron Co. Ltd, South Durham Steel and Iron Company Ltd (includes a few pages specifically on Talbot, and a portrait photo). J.C.Carr and W.Taplin, 1962, History of the British Steel Industry, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press (mentions Talbot's business attitudes).
JKA

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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