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Benjamin Huntsman
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Born in Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire
Born on 4th of June 1704
Died on 20th of June 1776

Huntsman was the son of recent immigrants from Germany or Holland. His background was farming, but Huntsman’s inquisitive and inventive mind (he did, for example, some amateur surgery) saw him apprenticed to a clock- and toolmaker in Doncaster. Dissatisfied with the quality of steel available for that work he experimented with ways to improve it, especially the hardness, and developed the crucible process. Sheffield’s cutlers spurned it until superior knives made in France from Huntsman’s steel threatened their business. Though he failed to patent his process he prospered and his son continued the business.

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