bubbling, fresh from an adjacent cupola furnace. As the compressed air
sweeps through this lakelet of metal, there is a sunburst of roaring
flame, of incandescent grandeur far beyond the power of pen or pencil to
fittingly portray or describe. Fifteen minutes of this blast through
the mass, the the column of flame from the mouth of the "converter"
dies out in a gasp like the expiring breath of a terrible spirit.
Then follows a signalling shout, and from far above the now silent
converter there tumbles a fierce rivulet of molten "spiegel" iron,
that falls into the red jaws of the swinging furnace.
It brings with it just sufficient carbon, etc., to "convert" the mass of
metal, and what was eight tons of iron at 7.45 is eight tons of pure steel
at 8 o'clock.
This quarter-hour process has accomplished what before
good Sir Henry Bessemer's day required from two to three weeks' time in
the great stacks of alternate layers of bars of iron and of charcoal.
ROLLING STEEL PLATES.