The third period has for its great distinction the invention of the Bessemer and open-hearth processes, which are like Huntsman's crucible process in that their essence is their freeing wrought iron and low carbon steel from mechanically entangled cinder, by developing the hitherto unattainable temperature, rising to above 1500° C., needed for melting these relatively infusible products.
These processes are incalculably more important than Huntsman's, both because they are incomparably cheaper, and because their products are far more useful than his.
The growing competition of imported French cutlery made from Huntsman's cast-steel at length alarmed the Sheffield cutlers, who, after vainly endeavouring to get the exportation of the steel prohibited by the British government, were compelled in self-defence to use it.
Huntsman had not patented his process, and its secret was discovered by a Sheffield ironfounder, who, according to a popular story, obtained admission to Huntsman's works in the disguise of a tramp. Benjamin Huntsman died in 1776, his business being subsequently greatly developed by his son, William Huntsman (1733-1809).
To expiate his huntsman's offense, Ilagin pressed the Rostovs to come to an upland of his about a mile away which he usually kept for himself and which, he said, swarmed with hares.