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Key Buildings from Prehistory to the Present by Andrew Ballantyne

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Engelsberg Ironworks

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Per Larsson Gyllenhöök, 1645–1706

Ängelsberg, Västmanland, Sweden; 1681–1919

Steel is the structural material that holds up most twenty-first-century buildings. It is not necessary to use steel in dwellings with small windows and rooms that are not too wide, but for everything else – including industrial and agricultural buildings – it is ubiquitous.

The cost of steel production came down in the mid-nineteenth century, when Henry Bessemer’s process was introduced. Patented in 1855, the Bessemer process soon began to be employed on a industrial scale. It involved passing air through molten iron as a way of removing impurities ...

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