Lunchtime Talk: Harry Brearley – The Man Behind the Discovery

Thursday, 11th November 2021

1:00 pm to 1:45 pm

Weston Park Museum

Free - donations welcome

Harry Brearley (1871-1948) is best known as the Sheffielder who discovered Stainless Steel. This illustrated talk tells the more personal story of his life and family. His vivid autobiographies include the best descriptions known of growing up and learning in a Victorian Sheffield ‘slum’. School did little for him, yet he went on to become one of the most sought-after metallurgists in the city.

The family story can be traced from the back-to-backs of Sheffield’s Spital area (Burngreave), then to a modest cottage beside Totley Brook, on to Riga on the Baltic and return to Millhouses. At the time of the stainless discovery the Brearleys lived in the Chesterfield area, and finally Torquay. His work was always in Sheffield’s east end, at the heart of heavy steel.

Recent historical evidence shows that stainless steel was not the main source of his modest fortune. He found himself with wealth he felt he did not need. As a lifelong socialist, what should he do?

Join Robin Fielder, formerly of Kelham Island Industrial Museum, to hear more about the man behind stainless steel.

Weston Park Museum
Western Bank
S10 2TP