Henry Cort, English ironmaster, c 1780s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Henry Cort (1740-1800) is best known for pioneering the puddling proces for purifying iron. During the Industrial Revolution British iron was not considered to be of inferior quality with the British government importing a significant amount of wrought iron from countries such as Rusia. Cort patented the puddling proces in 1784, a technique which, when combined with rollers, meant that Britian could efficiently purify its own iron for manufacture.