Author Archives: Rob Ellis


Thomas Jessop – a Man with Steel in His Veins

By Rob Ellis | 24th October, 2017

There are lots of familiar stories when it comes to steelmaking in Yorkshire, but considering the size, wealth, local materials and the world reach of the Sheffield steelmaking industry at one time, it’s entirely unsurprising that many born locally would find themselves working and having a lifelong career in metallurgy in the 19th Century. One such tale is that of Thomas Jessop, who was born into a steel industry family in 1804; his father had a modest crucible facility nearby. After he completed his education, at around age 14 or 15 he was apprenticed to an edge-tool maker with a view... [read more]

Is Steel Really the Best Material for Your Cookware?

By Rob Ellis | 26th September, 2017

We’ve blogged at length about how amazing steel is as a material – in fact, if there’s a job to be done, it’s very likely that there’s a steel that’s perfect for it! Sometimes it’s because the make-up of the steel and its characteristics are perfectly suited to the job, whereas for some other cases, the cost of the steel is cheap enough to make it much more financially viable to use steel than other materials. Surgical implements made from stainless steel have greatly improved hygiene in hospitals and operating theatres, whereas cutlery from stainless steel is far cheaper than... [read more]

The Magical Electric Arc Furnace

By Rob Ellis | 29th August, 2017

While there are many techniques for creating, processing and refining steel, each one is a large industrial process that literally accounts for centuries of continued learning and experimentation. Some processes are discovered by applying new scientific principles, whilst others are careful adjustments of the way things have been done previously. One of the more modern ways of making steel is via the EAF – or Electric Arc Furnace. Although Electric Arc Furnace may sound like a 1970’s prog-rock band, EAF was actually started in the first decade of the 20th Century in the USA. The big US steel mills were still... [read more]

Was DeLorean Ahead of His Time? Or Are We heading Back to the Future?

By Rob Ellis | 1st August, 2017

Well, it’s 2017. As we know from the famous film trilogy, we’re two years overdue on our hoverboards, but the Chicago Cubs have finally won the World Series. Possibly the most striking thing we find this year is the DeLorean DMC-12 is once again due to go into production. That’s right, the car that had its place in history cemented as a time machine was announced last summer as gearing up once again – but this time to be made in Texas rather than Northern Ireland. That iconic brushed stainless steel bodywork is going to appear off the assembly, gleaming... [read more]

A Fascinating Wander Through Steel’s History

By Rob Ellis | 4th July, 2017

We all know that the history of steel is interwoven with the history of the modern world, but it really goes so much deeper than that. Steel has been around for a great number of years and is just the latest stage of a long history of metallurgy – so we decided to take all of the interesting little tit-bits about steel that make us smile and put them into a blog! Firstly, steel could be a lot older than most people think. Although Yorkshire is often thought of as the beginnings of steel around Sheffield a few hundred years... [read more]