Gold medal (French) presented to Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) in 1867. 68mm diameter, in red case 10x10x1cm [lid broken away from base]. rim legend: OR. obverse: EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE DE MDCCCLXVII Á PARIS. GRAND PRIX. Two putti hold panel enscribed BESSEMER with laurel wreath above. exergue: H. PONSCARME F. reverse: NAPOLEON III EMPEREUR ; H. PONSCARME F. ; relief head profile to Left with laurel wreath and goatee beard
Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) was an English inventor and engineer who invented a cheap process for manufacturing steel. He patented a process by which molten pig iron was converted to steel by blowing air through it in a Bessemer converter.This removed most of the impurities and no extra fuel was required, because the carbon, oxidised during the blow, generated great heat. Establishing a steelworks in Sheffield, England, Bessemer manufactured guns and, later, steel rails.