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Balfour, Arthur, first Baron Riverdale (1873–1957), steel maker and industrialist, was, by his own account, born in London on 9 January 1873. For some years his parentage was a mystery. He went to Sheffield in 1882 as an ‘orphan’ with Mary Fraser (1847–1906)...

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Arthur Balfour, first Baron Riverdale (1873–1957) by Harold Knight, 1936 © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Banner, Sir John Sutherland Harmood-, first baronet (1847–1927), accountant and steel maker, was born at Dingle Mount, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, on 8 September 1847, the second son of Harmood Walcot Banner (1814–1878), an accountant, and his wife, Margaret, née Sutherland. The family were prosperous members of the ...

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Bell, Sir (Isaac) Lowthian, first baronet (1816–1904), iron and steel manufacturer, was born at Newcastle upon Tyne on 15 February 1816, the eldest of four sons (out of seven children) of Thomas Bell (1774–1845), chemical and iron manufacturer, and his wife, Catherine, née...

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Sir (Isaac) Lowthian Bell, first baronet (1816–1904) by Elliott & Fry, 1880 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bessemer, Sir Henry (1813–1898), steel maker, was born on 19 January 1813 at Charlton, near Hitchin, Hertfordshire, the only son of Anthony and Elizabeth Bessemer (a surname said to have been of Huguenot origin). He had an elder sister. According to Henry Bessemer...

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Sir Henry Bessemer (1813–1898) by London Stereoscopic Co. © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bragge, William (1823–1884), civil engineer and steel manufacturer, was born at Birmingham on 31 May 1823, the third son of Thomas Perry Bragge, a manufacturing jeweller. After some years of general tuition, Bragge studied practical engineering with two Birmingham firms, and in his leisure applied himself closely to the study of mechanics and mathematics. In 1845 he entered the office of a civil engineer, and soon after engaged in railway surveying. He acted first as assistant engineer and then as engineer-in-chief of part of the line from ...

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Brown, Sir John (1816–1896), steel maker, was born on 6 December 1816 in Favell's Yard, Fargate, in Sheffield, the second son of Samuel Brown, a slater, and his wife, Anne. Though his education in a garret-school was modest, his family was able to provide the ...

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Cammell, Charles (1810–1879), steelmaker, was born on 8 January 1810 in Sculcoates, Hull, the fourth son of George Cammell, a shipmaster with Scottish connections, and his wife, Hannah (d. 1825). A self-made man, he was apprenticed to a local ironmonger before moving to ...

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Carnegie, Andrew (1835–1919), steelmaker and philanthropist, was born in Moodie Street, Dunfermline, Fife, on 25 November 1835, the eldest of three children of William Carnegie (d. 1855), a damask linen weaver, and his wife, Margaret. After the age of eight he was educated at a Lancastrian school. Other influences on him—aside from his parents' poverty—were his family's nonconformity (his father was a Swedenborgian) and its Chartist sympathies....

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Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Colville family (per. 1861–1916), iron- and steelmasters, came to prominence with David [i] Colville (1811/12–1898), who was baptized in Campbeltown, Argyll, on 17 February 1813, the eleventh and last child of Robert Colvill [sic] and his wife, Janet Mitchell...

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Walter Taplin

revised by Peter L. Payne

Craig, Sir John (1874–1957), steel manufacturer, was born at Clydesdale, New Stevenston, Lanarkshire, on 11 December 1874, the fourth son of Thomas Craig, a furnaceman at David Colville's Dalzell ironworks, Motherwell, and his wife, Elizabeth Wilson. He was educated at Dalziel public school, Motherwell...

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Sir John Craig (1874–1957) by Walter Stoneman, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London