Nostalgia: White heat of Sheffield’s original powerhouse

It was a time when Yorkshire, and especially South Yorkshire, really was the Northern Powerhouse. These pictures from the archive were taken literally in the white heat of an industrial revolution that brought prosperity and secure employment to Sheffield and the surrounding towns.

circa 1930: The smelting works at Dorman Long Steelworks in Middlesbrough. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

It was the city’s proximity to the fast-flowing waters of the Don and the Loxley that made it the perfect location in the age of water power. Coal, iron ore and millstone grit were also close to hand in the nearby hills.

But it was the invention a century ago of stainless steel that transformed the city into a kitchen for the world, with vast steelworks like these turning out place settings by the thousand.

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As late as the 1950s, 15,000 people remained employed in the manufacture of cutlery.

A steel foundry worker oversees the rolling and saw cutting of semi molten metal billets on 27th January 1942 at the Andrew & Company Toledo Steel Works, Neepsend Lane in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images).

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20th October 1942: Mrs Mand Watson operating a travelling crane at the Park Gate Iron & Steel Company Limited, Rotherham. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
May 1929: Workmen in a steel mill pouring molten steel into an ingot mould. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Picture released in March 1937 showing employees of a steelworks. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)