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Not what it appears !!

By PhilT2
Not toilets, but crucible steel furnaces at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Benjamin Huntsman was a clockmaker in search of a better steel for clock springs. In Handsworth near Sheffield, he began producing steel in 1740 after years of experimenting in secret. Huntsman's system used a coke-fired furnace capable of reaching 1,600 C, into which up to twelve clay crucibles, each capable of holding about 15 kg of iron, were placed. When the crucibles or "pots" were white-hot, they were charged with lumps of blister steel, an alloy of iron and carbon produced by the cementation process, and a flux to help remove impurities. The pots were removed after about 3 hours in the furnace, impurities in the form of slag skimmed off, and the molten steel poured into moulds to end up as cast ingots. Complete melting of the steel produced a highly uniform crystal structure upon cooling, which gave the metal increased tensile strength and hardness in comparison with other steels being made at the time.

Tags: General Sheffield Industrial heritage Abbeydale_Industrial_Hamlet Crucible steel

Voters: Chinga, mike9005, woodini254 and 56 more

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Chinga Plus
11 102 3 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2022 10:53AM
I did think they were one of those French squat loos...
Well seen !! Mind-boggling image. Isabel GrinGrin
RonDM Plus
7 333 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2022 11:21AM
Excellent rust and all.

Reminds me of the deep trench latrines we used to have to dig when I was in the army!!

James124 Plus
7 50 51 Portugal
15 Jan 2022 11:21AM
Nice image and explanation. Seems a heavy duty process to produce something as delicate as a watch spring.
mac Plus
20 14 Scotland
15 Jan 2022 12:23PM
A good capture, and very thorough explanation of their purpose. It looks like asbestos on the covers, was that available then or a more up-to-date addition?
Saastad Plus
3 16 17 Norway
15 Jan 2022 12:27PM
Nice with something different!

15 Jan 2022 12:41PM
Thought at first it was doors for a wood fired pottery kiln, but much hotter than that. Thanks for the fascinating write-up. If he was a clockmaker I bet he didnt operate this furnace himself. Fascinating image 👌
cats_123 Plus
18 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
15 Jan 2022 12:50PM
Fascinating history 😁
15 Jan 2022 1:00PM
Nice image & narrative
TrevBatWCC Plus
14 13 19 England
15 Jan 2022 1:32PM
Yes, I thought they were old outdoor toilets! 😁 A great capture, Phil, some lovely rust in there as well 😃 Interesting write-up, too 👍🏻
Trev 😀
Excellent narrative, adds to the image. Jon.
taggart Plus
17 47 15 United States
15 Jan 2022 3:26PM
With this curious image You have given us some VERY interesting history and information-- A most inventive man!
elousteve 2 5 Slovakia
15 Jan 2022 8:03PM
cooky Plus
18 6 6 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2022 8:58PM
Excellent narrative and so glad they are not outside privvies! Jolly uncomfortable but what a good image.

Lillian Plus
13 23 17 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2022 10:19PM
Ha Ha I thought loos!!
liked the write up Phil, and well captured shot
dales Plus
6 13 Australia
15 Jan 2022 11:59PM
Glad you cleared that up Phil , fascinating image

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