We love to be able to talk about Sheffield, our home and the place where all our stainless steel bracelets are hand built. Steel played a huge part in the history of the City and still plays a part today. Here are a few interesting facts we've learnt while researching Sheffield and its rich manufacturing history:
The world's sole manufacturer of Tuning Forks is based in Sheffield. Ragg Tuning Forks have been manufacturing their steel musical, healing and scientific forks in the city since 1841.
Our workshop is based at Portland Works the birthplace of stainless steel manufacturing. Did you know we also share the Works with lots of other incredibly talented businesses!
Gin Distillers - Locksley Distilling Co. Ltd.
Knife Makers - Stuart Mitchell and Michael May Knives.
Platers & Polishers - PML Plating Ltd
Woodwork - Lynthorpe Wood Works
Recycled Cutlery Jewellery - Buffergirl Jewellery
Rug Makers - Gods Own Rugs
Creative Hackspace - Sheffield Hardware Hackers and Makers
Handcrafted Guitars - Tietzsch Guitars
The Bessemer Converter
Henry Bessemer, born in 1813, made his fortune in Sheffield from his Bessemer Process for steel. This was the first truly economical industrial process for the mass production of steel from molten pig iron.
Using the Bessemer process, it took just 10 to 20 minutes to convert 3 to 5 tons of iron into steel — before it used to take at least a full day of heating, stirring and reheating to achieve this. You can see one of the three converters left in the world at the Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield.
Stainless Steel is one of the most recycled materials on the planet. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, approximately 88% of the world’s steel is recycled. In fact, two out of three tons of any new steel comes from old steel!
The Second World War
For the first 18 months of the Second World War the only drop hammer in the whole of the United Kingdom capable of forging crankshafts for the Spitfire and Lancaster engines was at Vickers Works in Sheffield.
Taking into account its entire life cycle, stainless steel has one of the lightest impacts on the Earth of all known engineering materials.
And at the end of its long life, all stainless steel can be recycled to create new stainless that is as strong and long-lasting as the original.
Marine Grade Stainless Steel
Marine Grade 316 stainless steel contains 2% to 3% of Molybdenum, a hard, silver white metallic element used to toughen steels and increase corrosion-resistance.
The addition of this ingredient gives Marine Grade 316 superior resistance when exposed to corrosives such as seawater.
Marine Grade 316 is also much more resistant to chlorides (for example in swimming pool water) and due to its non-reactive qualities, it is also used in the manufacture of medical surgical instruments.
With a proud tradition of steelmaking – the world’s first martensitic stainless steel was invented here more than 100 years ago – Sheffield is home to our steel providers Outokumpu.
They produce stainless steel slabs, blooms, billets and ingots in a range of shapes and sizes here in Sheffield (right next to the M1 junction with The Parkway)
Billets and blooms are used as stock for rolling wire rod or bar (which we then turn into our components!)
Slabs are typically hot and cold rolled into coil and sheet plate or used in the forging industry.
Ingots are usually used for forging and rolling into large heavy billets and bars.
National Graphene Institute, Manchester
The building for the National Graphene Institute (The University of Manchester Graphene) was completed in 2015 and is a state of the art scientific and research facility. The facades to the 5 storey building are clad in black mirror coloured stainless steel alongside glass to stunning effect.
The facade is 2mm thick and is a 316 grade stainless steel that was perforated to detail formulae relevant to the graphene product.
One of eight siblings born into poverty near the Wicker, Sheffield, Harry Brearley (1871-1948) could be considered an unlikely individual to make a revolutionary metallurgic discovery.
On the 13th August 1913 Harry created a steel alloy with 12.8% chromium and 0.24% carbon, which is argued to be the first ever batch of what became known as 'stainless steel'.
The stainless steel bell which was once given pride of place on HMS Sheffield is now cared for at Kelham Island Museum
HMS Sheffield was launched on July 23rd 1936. All the fittings were produced in stainless steel, as opposed to the usual brass, to help cut down on the amount of cleaning the staff needed to do. The ship became lovingly known as the Shiny Sheff.
From Australia to Sheffield
A very high tensile stainless steel ribbed bar manufactured in Sheffield was used to reinforce the walkways around the famous Sydney Opera House
The same type of bar is also very popular in construction work and was used to restore the The Old Queens Head pub - the oldest standing building in Sheffield!
St Paul’s Cathedral
The great dome of St Paul's Cathedral is 110 feet wide and 368 feet high. The original iron chain which held the dome together was replaced by a stainless steel reinforcement chain.
The links were made in Sheffield by Brown Bayley in 1930. There were 30 links, each about 16ft long - making the chain a total length of around 480ft. It was attached to the dome, just below the Whispering Gallery, and still holds it firm to this day!
We have an amazing wildlife haven right on our doorstep in Attercliffe!
In 1998 Ancon Building Products manufactured and donated two 'Salmon of Steel' designed by local artist David Mayne.
These two stainless steel works of art mark the stretch of water known as 'Salmon Pastures' on the Five Weirs Walk along the River Don.
Leicester Square - London
Outokumpu in Sheffield provided the stainless steel for the railings and gates that enclose the gardens in Leicester Square in London.
More than 80 tonnes of stainless steel were utilised for the design, and was produced by water jet cutting. With more than 9,170 metres of cutting (5.7 miles) the total length would stretch from Sheffield to Rotherham.
The final construction comprises of over 2,000 highly-polished finials. The gates themselves are a unique design, manufactured from duplex stainless steel, with no visible hinges.
Physical Vapour Deposition
The Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) process is used by Bailey of Sheffield for the coloured CABLE™ bracelets. PVD is a complex process, primarily used in aerospace and Formula 1 applications. It is accomplished under vacuum conditions which transfers microscopic particles of colour onto the stainless steel of the CABLE™ bracelet.
Made In Sheffield
Bailey of Sheffield are very proud members of Made In Sheffield
"Made In Sheffield" is one of the World's great brands, made famous internationally as a mark of origin and quality on the City's manufactured products.
Today, Sheffield is a successful 21st century City of Makers, boasting world-class companies in sectors as diverse as advanced manufacturing, materials technology, the creative and digital industries, food, biomedical / healthcare technology and the creative & digital industries.
Rain - by Colin Rose
The stainless steel spheres you see in Millennium Square in the city centre are a piece of public art called Rain, created by sculptor Colin Rose.
The sculpture features 9 large Sheffield stainless steel spheres varying in sizes up to 2m in diameter, which were intended to suggest drops of rain that have just landed on the surface of the square.
They sparkle at night due to dozens of colour changing LED lights set in the paving, and into the rim of the pools under each of the steel ball ‘raindrops’.
The Women of Steel Statue
The statue situated next to the City Hall in Barkers Pool is dedicated to the women who worked in Sheffield's steelworks during both world wars.
A fundraising campaign in 2016 raised more than £160,000 to pay for the bronze sculpture by artist Martin Jennings.
The women honoured were conscripted to work in factories and steel mills and took on roles that were often dangerous and physically demanding.
The Cutting Edge Sculpture
The stainless steel 'wall' you first see when leaving Sheffield Train Station is called The Cutting Edge Sculpture
Sheffield design team, Si Applied and international glass artist Keiko Mukaide collaborated in the development of the sculpture.
The sculpture is 90 metres long, and 5 metres high at the highest point and the stainless steel was provided by Outokumpu.
The external material is 4mm thick, with a mirror polish on one side of the sculpture and a matte finish on the other.
The sculpture was constructed in 8 pieces over a 6 month period, it was delivered to the site in 4 deliveries.
The materials required to make the external structure weigh approximately 29 tonnes, and the internal frame probably weighs as much. Therefore the whole sculpture weighs approximately 60 tonnes!
The Bochum Bell
The bell which can be seen on the edge of the top flower bed along Pinstone Street near the Peace Gardens in the city centre is called The Bochum Bell.
The bell was presented to the people of Sheffield in 1985 by our twin city of Bochum in Germany to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the link between the two cities.
The steel bell was made by apprentices at the Krupp AG Works and reflects the shared heritage of the two cities in the manufacturing of the highest quality steel and steel artefacts.
The Millennium Gallery
The Sykes Gallery's Metalwork Collection within The Millennium Gallery is a collection of finished metalwork, awarded 'Designated Status' in 1999 in recognition of its outstanding national and historical significance.
Sheffield is known throughout the world foremost for its association with steel and cutlery: in the 1800s primarily for its pioneer steelmakers and innovation, and more recently for processing and finishing.
The collection is made up of some 13,000 items including what is probably the most extensive grouping of Sheffield-made cutlery, flatware (forks and spoons) and holloware (eg bowls, teapots, containers) in existence.
The clock’s hands and workings from Big Ben have been removed from the iconic London tower – and have been shipped to Sheffield where they are being expertly restored by a city based engineering firm.
Shepley Engineers have a specialist restoration division in Sheffield, which is based in Newton Chambers Road. The company became established as a specialist restoration and conservation contractor in 1985 when they completed a major iron project on the Grade 1 listed Dorchester Hotel, they have since gone on to work on Blackfriars Bridge, St Pancras Station and The Paxton Pavilions in Sheffield amongst many more around the UK.
The task of repairing and renovating the clock face is expected to be completed by 2021.
We have also introduced a new Facebook Group for past, present and future collectors of Bailey CABLE™ stainless steel bracelets, beads and accessories to come together, share and discuss your stories, photographs, suggestions and more. Join in the conversation at the 'Friends of Bailey of Sheffield' group.
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