Kelham Island Museum

Bessemer Converter
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Major displays on Sheffield industry and its people, processes and products from Victorian times..

Venue Type:

Museum, Industrial heritage site

Opening hours

Mon-Thurs 1000-1600
Sun 1100-1645

Closed: Fridays and Saturdays

Admission charges

Adult £6.00
Concession £5.00
Accompanied U16: Free (not inc school visits)

Discounts

  • Museums Association

The collections at Kelham Island Museum cover industries in Sheffield from 1750 up to the present. Major collections include the Iron & Steel Industry Collection, Cutlery Industry Collection, Armament Industry Collection and the Tool Making Industry Collection. There are also collections of Historic Photographs and Documents relating to a variety of Sheffield firms. The library contains many technical metallurgical reference books and is available by appointment.

Collection details

Archives, Industry, Land Transport, Science and Technology, Social History, Trade and Commerce

Key artists and exhibits

  • Key objects on display include the Bessemer Converter and the 12,000 HP River Don Engine.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of pub sign reading "Millowners Arms"

Millowners Arms

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This new gallery complete with a traditional bar celebrates Sheffield’s Brewing heritage, from being the biggest brewing city in the England to its numerous microbreweries of today.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/millowners-arms

photograph of tools on display in the Hawley gallery

The Hawley Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Hawley Gallery opened in 2010 as the first permanent display space for the Hawley Collection.

This world-renowned tool collection has been amassed since the mid 1950s by former tool retailer and champion of Sheffield’s industrial heritage, Ken Hawley, and consists of over 100,000 objects, all relating to Sheffield’s tool, cutlery manufacturing and silversmithing industry.

The Ken Hawley Collection Trust LINK was formed in 1994 to safeguard the collection and Ken continues collecting and working with the collection - it is his life and his continuing passion.

This internationally important collection of over 100,000 objects includes edge tools, measuring tools, tools used for cutlery manufacture and silversmithing, plus related catalogues, photos, films and oral histories. It is gathered mostly from Sheffield and Yorkshire but also from Britain and the rest of the world.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/the-hawley-gallery

photograph of interior of Kelham Island Museum's Transport gallery

Transport Galleries

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Showcasing some of the finest Sheffield-made vehicles of the 1920s, The Charlesworth Transport Gallery explores the story of transport in Sheffield and its essential part of our industrial history.

The development of factories and the "workshop of the world" was only possible as the transport network developed. Equally the development of the transport network was reliant on the technology of industry, particularly those in Sheffield.

Transport has played a vital role within Sheffield, both within its industries and for the city as a whole. As a major manufacturing centre, a good transport system was important to carry raw materials and goods in and out, as well as to transport workers and inhabitants around the city.

The upper transport gallery houses temporary exhibitions as well as the Sheffield Simplex Car. This is perhaps the most famous car made in Sheffield and it was produced at the Fitzwilliam Works in Tinsley.

The car was the idea of Earl Fitzwilliam, who thought Sheffield could produce the finest car in the world. This prototype is one of only three Simplex cars remaining, and is thought to be the last type of the car ever produced.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/transport-galleries/upper-transport-gallery

photograph of Kelham Island Museum's River Don engine

Enid Hattersley Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Enid Hattersley Gallery houses a selection of Kelham Island's permanent collection. The gallery is also home to the 12,000hp River Don Engine, which you can see in steam at selected times.

Other notable exhibits include the Benjamin Huntsman Clock, Bramah Press, Crossley Gas Engine, Die-Sinkers and Cutlers Workshops, Grand Slam Bomb, Little Mesters Street, Melting Shop Play Area, Sheffield Floods, Town Guns, Armaments and War Memorials.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/main-museum-enid-hattersley-gallery

photograph of Kelham Island's Bessemer converter

Outdoor Collection

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Gannister Mill and Bessemer Converter.

The Gannister Mill was used to grind ganister rock, a type of sandstone, into a paste which was used to seal joints inside furnaces.

The Bessemer Converter is one of only three converters left in the world. It was used by the British Steel Corporation in Workington until 1975(4?) and produced the last Bessemer Steel made in Britain in 1974. It was brought to the Museum in 1978 as an example of the revolutionary steelmaking process which first took off in Sheffield.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/outdoor-collection

photograph of carved stone sign for the City of Sheffield

Stone Garden

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Stone Garden has a display of interesting stonework from the entrances of Sheffield companies.

From the Sheffield coat of arms to the’ hanging sheep’, every stone has a story to tell about the city’s trades and industrial past.

The Stone Garden can be viewed from inside the Crucible Shop and at some of SIMT's larger events including 1940s Wartime Weekend, Down by the Riverside and the Victorian Christmas Market.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/outdoor-collection/stone-garden

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Sheffield 1916

Sheffield 1916: Steel, Steam & Power

  • 30 May 2016 10am-4pm

Kelham Island, Power Island

Bank Holiday Monday 30 May | 10am - 4pm

Normal admission applies | Kids go FREE!

Join us for the official public launch event of our exciting new Heritage Lottery funded project 'Sheffield 1916 - Steel, Steam and Power'.

Inspired by the mighty River Don Engine, new displays and exhibitions reveal the major role Sheffield played in shipbuilding and the lead up to the Battle of Jutland.

Find out the fascinating story of steam power in the Power House.
Experience the roar of the new boiler as it fires up to steam the 12,000hp River Don Engine, the most powerful working steam engine in Europe, every hour!
Sea Shanties with Monkey’s Fist - Live Folk Band, Solana - Living History stories and songs from the era in the Millowners Arms - Museum Tours - Join our Kelham Creators in the Power Lab for interactive family activities and more!

River Don Engine and the Battle of Jutland

On 31 May 1916, the largest naval battle of the First World War took place of the coast of Jutland in Denmark where over 6000 British sailors lost their lives.

The River Don Engine is a mighty steam engine built to roll armour plate for the Dreadnought warships that fought at the Battle of Jutland.

The newly displayed River Don Engine room opens up the workings of the old boiler to reveal the secret life of the engine, from the story of armour plate to its place in the 20th century story of Britain, linking two world wars, nuclear power and the oil industry.

Stories of the River Don Engine

"As a boy it captured my imagination. When it runs it seeps into your soul, it shaped my future as an engineer".

Do you have a story about the River Don Engine that you'd like to share? We're looking for input from people who know the engine to inform our new exhibition.

Please contact Maria Flude, Community Participation Offiicer on 0114 221 0827 or m.flude@simt.co.uk

We are also looking for volunteers to work with us in the following areas - visitor services guides, events, community history and as STEM champions and Kelham Creators.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults £6, Concessions £5, Children (u16) FREE!

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/whats-on/sheffield-1916-steel-steam-power

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

1940s: Wartime Children

http://www.simt.co.uk

Living History Day for schools
Children travel back in time to wartime Sheffield. They will investigate the lives of real people and encounter the trials and tribulations of air raids, evacuations and life on the Home Front. They will experience sounds, songs, gas masks, and life under an Anderson Shelter.

A Day in the Life of a Young Sheffield Steel Worker

http://www.mylearning.org/overview.asp?journeyid=571

How working life has changed in the Sheffield steel industry since Victorian times, with good audio clips from workers past and present.

Publisher

  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Kelham Island Museum
Alma Street
Off Corporation Street
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S3 8RY
England

Website

www.simt.co.uk

E-mail

General enquiries

ask@simt.co.uk

Education enquiries

education@simt.co.uk

Collection enquiries

collections@simt.co.uk

Telephone

0114 272 2106

Fax

0114 275 7847

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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