steel ingots

A visit to Benjamin Huntsman's works in Attercliffe in 1771

Benjamin Huntsman (1704-76) founded Sheffield’s industrial fortunes through the invention of the crucible steel process. By the time of his death, his workshop had a European reputation and the market for its products was seemingly insatiable.

Nothing now survives of the industrial workplace that was the site of this extraordinary development. What is more, Hunstman took care to try to shield his process from the prying eyes of potential competitors.

This website demonstrates how, with the careful collation of all the available evidence, we can use the techniques of ‘virtual reality’ representation to re-present this important part of Sheffield’s industrial and cultural heritage. The site includes:

  • A ‘field diary’ of the processes by which a virtual reality model is constructed and the various challenges that it poses
  • The historical context
  • The archival materials
  • The 3-D models that were created from the historical and archival materials
  • The final VR showcase demonstration of Benjamin Huntsman’s works, based in particular on one of the few surviving accounts of the visit to the Attercliffe works by the Swedish mining engineer Erik Geisler in 1772.








Copyright Alan Williams and HRI online

Isometric reconstruction of Benjamin Huntsman's works in 1781
(copyright: Alan Williams)