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David Mushet


1772 - 1847

Industrialist and metallurgist. Born in Dalkeith (Midlothian), Mushet joined a Glasgow ironworks at the age of nineteen. In 1801, he discovered black iron-stone near Coatbridge (North Lanarkshire) and later showed for the first time how this mineral could be smelted using James Neilson's new blast furnace. In conjunction with Englishman William Dixon (1753 - 1822), Mushet developed the Calder Ironworks to exploit his discovery. This discovery led to a remarkable expansion in the iron industry in Scotland.

Mushet experimented with new processes in a search for better and cheaper iron. Amongst his numerous innovations he made steel from iron by adding carbon and discovered that manganese oxide improves the quality of both metals.

Mushet moved south to England in 1805, settling at Coleford in the Forest of Dean in 1810, where he established an ironworks. He is buried nearby in Staunton Churchyard.


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