of the labour of the puddler. All the gases would pass up the chimney of the puddling furnace, and the puddler would not be subject to their influence. Such was the method specified in my patent of l854[note: Specification of James Nasmyth -- Employment of steam in the process of puddling iron. May 4, 1854 ; No. 1001.]

My friend, Thomas Lever Rushton, proprietor of the Bolton Ironworks, was so much impressed with the soundness of the principle, as well as with the great simplicity of carrying the invention into practical effect, that he urged me to secure the patent, and he soon after gave me the opportunity of trying the process at his works. The results were most encouraging. There was a great saving of labour and time compared with the old puddling process ; and the malleable iron produced was found to be of the highest order as regarded strength, toughness, and purity. My process was soon after adopted by several iron manufacturers with equally favourable results. Such, however, was the energy of the steam, that unless the workmen were most careful to regulate its force and the duration of its action, the waste of iron by undue oxidation was such as in a great measure to neutralise its commercial gain as regarded the superior value of the malleable iron thus produced.

Before I had time or opportunity to remove this commercial difficulty, Mr. Bessemer had secured his patent of the l7th of October, 1855. By this patent he employed a blast of air to do the same work as I had proposed to accomplish by means of a blast of steam, forced up beneath the surface of the molten cast iron. He added some other improvements, with that happy fertility of invention which has always characterised him. The results were so magnificently successful as to totally eclipse my process, and to cast it comparatively into the shade. At the same time I may say that I was in a measure the pioneer of his invention, that I initiated a new system, and led to one of the most important improvements in the manufacture of iron and steel that has ever been given to the world.

Mr. Bessemer brought the subject of his invention before the meeting of the British Association at Cheltenham in the autumn of 1856. There he read his paper "On the Manufacture of Iron into Steel without Fuel."[note: On the morning of the day on which the paper was to be read, Mr. Bessemer was sitting at breakfast at his hotel, when an ironmaster (to whom he was unknown) said, laughing, to a friend within his hearing, "Do you know that there is somebody come down from London to read us a paper on making steel from cast iron without fuel? Did you ever hear of such nonsense?" The title of the paper was perhaps a misnomer, but the correctness of the principles on which the pig iron was converted into malleable iron, as explained by the inventor, was generally recognised, and there seemed every reason to anticipate that the process would before long come into general use.]

I was present on the occasion, and listened to his statement with mingled feelings of regret and enthusiasm -- of regret, because I had been so clearly superseded and excelled in my performances; and of enthusiasm -- because I could not but admire and honour the genius who had given so great an invention to the mechanical world. I immediately took the opportunity of giving my assent to the principles which he had propounded. My words were not reported at the time, nor was Mr. Bessemer's paper printed by the Association, perhaps because it was thought of so little importance but, on applying to Mr. (now Sir Henry) Bessemer, he was so kind as to give me the following as his recollection of the words which I used on the occasion.

"I shall ever feel grateful," says Sir Henry, "for the noble way in which you spoke at the meeting at Cheltenham of my invention. If I remember rightly, you held up a piece of my malleable iron, saying words to this effect: 'Here is a true British nugget ! Here is a new process that promises to put an end to all puddling; and I may mention that at this moment there are puddling furnaces in successful operation where my patent hollow steam Rabbler is at work, producing iron of superior quality by the introduction of jets of steam in the puddling process. I do not, however, lay any claim to this invention of Mr. Bessemer; but I may fairly be entitled to say that I have advanced along the road on which he has travelled so many miles, and has effected such unexpected results that I do not hesitate to say that I may go home from this meeting and tear up my patent, for my process of puddling is assuredly superseded.'"

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