History of the British Steel Industry

History of the British Steel Industry

History of the British Steel Industry

History of the British Steel Industry


This history was begun in 1953 by the late. J. C. Carr, C.B.E., who was associated with the steel industry for more than twenty years as an official of the Import Duties Advisory Committee and the Ministry of Supply. I came in in 1958 to collaborate with him on the later stages. Roughly speaking, the division of labour was that Mr. Carr was responsible for those parts of the history covering the periods 1856-1914 and 1932-39, and I was responsible for the part covering 1914-31 and for editing the work as a whole. Mr. Carr died in April 1961, but the book was virtually complete by that time apart from the final revision of the Epilogue. Throughout we had the assistance of Mr. A. E. G. Wright, who did much of the research underlying the book and drafted many of the chapters, including particularly those on technical developments. The major part he played in these respects, in assisting with the editing, and in controlling the considerable collection of materials and documents that accumulated as the work progressed clearly warrants the appearance of his name on the title-page.

In compiling the history we had the advantage of access to the archives of the British Iron and Steel Federation (including the papers which it inherited from its predecessor the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers) and much help from the Federation's staff. The archives, although incomplete through war damage, provided much new material for the period from 1918 onwards. To the staffs of the Library of the Iron Steel Institute, the Board of Trade Library, the Stock Exchange Library, The Economist and the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, we would like to express our gratitude for their patience in meeting the many demands we made upon them.

Among the staff of the Federation, Mr. Bernard Keeling smoothed the way at all times in putting us in touch with sources of materials and information and seeing that we received all the aid we asked for at Steel House. Mr. T. J. MacDonald played a particularly valuable part in sifting the material for Part IV of the history, assisting with research and editorial work on the rest of the book, and drafting some of the chapters. Several parts of the final version are based substantially on his drafts. Miss K. Dunwoody and Mr. A. Steiert, who prepared the statistical tables, also earned the authors' gratitude, as did the various members of the Federation staff who the successive drafts.

Our debts to others who have worked in this field are too numerous to mention individually. The bibliography only lists the main published sources which we consulted. Of individuals whose opinions and advice we sought, the late Sir William Larke, Mr. W. E. Minchinton (whose valuable book The British Tinplate Industry appeared in 1957 when work on the present history was already far advanced) and Professor Howard G. Roepke were particularly helpful.


London 1961 . . .

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