Reference numberVF/05
Alternative reference numberVF05
TitlePortrait of Sir Henry Bessemer by Sir Leslie Ward
ArtistWard, Leslie ['Spy']
Vincent Brooks, Day & Son
Date06 November 1880
DescriptionVanity Fair cartoon titled 'Steel' featuring Sir Henry Bessemer. Full length, right profile. Number 231 of the 'Mem of the Day' series.
InscriptionContentRecto inscription: 'VANITY FAIR Novr. 6 1880/ Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Lith./ “Steel”’
CaptionVanity Fair. Men of the Day. No. 231
Sir Henry Bessemer, C.E.
Born eight and sixty years ago, Sir Henry Bessemer began life as an artist and exhibited pictures fifty years since. But he preferred modelling to painting, and as he modelled he found that he preferred mechanics to both. A man of great natural powers, indomitable energy, and unwearied tenacity, he worked in various directions until at length he hit upon a new method of making steel so much more cheaply and more speedily than any hitherto known, that it has already caused iron to be all but entirely superseded, has ruined or revolutionised all the iron-works of the country, and has made a colossal and well-earned fortune for Sir Henry himself.
He is a simple orderly man of precise habits and well-regulated affections. He daily takes two "constitutional" walks of a mile each; he is devoted to his grandchildren; and he is very fond of gardening. He has laid out for himself, at Denmark Hill, lakes, ferneries, and looking-glasses in wonderful fashion. He invented a swinging saloon which was to prevent sea-sickness, but which has not yet been successful in practice; he it was who first originated the idea of the form of the Livadia; he believes there is much jobbery in all Governement dockyards and works; and he has now devoted himself to Astronomy, and is engaged in completing and in erecting in his garden the largest telescope in the world, with a four-foot lens. Altogether he is one of the strongest, ablest, simplest men of his time. He is entirely unknown to the fine ladies and gentlemen.
Physical descriptionColoured lithograph on paper, mounted on card
Dimensions380mm x 263mm
NotesText is accompanying article from "Vanity Fair" (by Jehu Junior?)
Access statusOpen
ProvenancePurchased by the Royal Society from Patrick Pollak Antiquarian & Rare Books, September 1999
Related materialColour transparency, Box N101. IM/000356
Related records in the catalogueIM/000356
Fellows associated with this archive
NA1539Bessemer; Sir; Henry (1813 - 1898)1813 - 1898
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