Worthy of the Name: The Bessemer

The first in our Gimping collection, The Bessemer is a stylish trainer with heritage detailing. The shoe is named after inventor Sir Henry Bessemer a man who was responsible for a revolutionary steel-making process that is recognised as one of the most import developments of the 19th century.

Born in 1813, Bessemer developed a great mechanical aptitude at a young age working alongside his Father in the family type-metal business. He worked alongside his dad in Sheffield until he was 17 when they made the decision to move the outfit to London. He also started various card embossing and die making businesses in the capital and made advancements in the production of graphite in pencils by significantly reducing the amount of waste produced.

In the following years Bessemer continued to use inventive mind to develop a variety of processes and tools including work on composing machines, bronze powder, sugar-cane, optical glass, guns and more. After making a significant discovery in steel and iron production he released a paper and began licensing his process around the country.

Although his work allowed for a cheaper way of producing steel there were still flaws to be ironed out. He gave license to various metalworks but they struggled to achieve the intended results. With his process in danger of going unused he made the decision to go into production himself, opening the Bessemer Steel Works where he managed to perfect his developments.. Cheaper production allowed him to undercut competition which created an interest in his methods, allowing him to sell the licence and make over one million pound sterling from the royalties.


Following his first highly successful endeavour Bessemer went on to innovate further with a series of machines for making very fine brass powder which was used as a 'gold' paint, a ship with suspended cabins to combat seasickness and a casting process using contra-rotating rollers that was a forerunner to the process used to this day. His total number of patents was over 129 and the impact of his work can be seen in today in a variety of industries.

Bessemer was a man who’s work has had an impact that will likely still be seen in generations to come. The Bessemer is a tribute to his perseverance and dedication to improvement, with it’s gimping side detail, subtle punching and unique toe overlay the smart-casual trainer is a must have for any trend setter’s wardrobe.