|Detail on the lift in the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield|
There has been a metal working industry in the Sheffield area since at least the 14th century.
The proximity of iron ore, suitable grinding stones and fast-flowing streams for power led to the development of steel manufacture and the specialisation of the making of cutlery.
In my own village cutlery making as a cottage industry went on from the 16th century up to the 1920s and there were over 100 cutler's workshops. The industry declined as these small enterprises lost business to the large cutlery works in Sheffield and the cottages and workshops that formed the original heart of the village have been demolished.
Improvements in the process of steel making continued through the 18th and 19th century due to the expertise of local inventors experimenting with different metals and better smelting techniques.
This year, 2013, will mark 100 years since stainless steel was discovered by Harry Brearley, the son of a Sheffield steel smelter. Harry had left school at the age of 12 and went to work in the city's steelworks, but then started to study metallurgy in evening classes. In his 30s he was chosen to run a new research facility funded by two of the largest steel companies where his discovery of a way to make corrosion-resistant steel transformed the industry in Sheffield.
There are reminders of metal working every, particularly in the city centre. As a newcomer to the area I've been discovering them and making a record of them through photography.
|A set of bells displayed in the Millennium Gallery Museum.|
|In one of the city squares the artisan cutlery maker and knife grinder and|
'the buffer girl' polishing them
appear from behind the shutters as the clock strikes the hour.
|A steel worker, Sheffield.|
I've also been looking through my cutlery drawer and sorting out the ones manufactured in Sheffield for, of course, other countries produce stainless steel and will also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its invention with special events.
|Boxed sets of cutlery. The large set was given to my parents|
as a wedding present.