Harry Brearley (18 February 1871 – 14 July 1948)

Harry Brearley (18 February 1871 – 14 July 1948)


Last month, on the 18th February was Harry Brearley’s 150th Birthday.

It’s quite amazing how many of us in the catering industry and beyond have no idea who Harry Brearley was. Yet his 1913 invention is crucial to us even today. Every day.

See, back at the start of the 1900s Harry was working in Sheffield, well known for its steel foundries. This was also the time leading up to WWI and the country was looking carefully at improving its armaments. A lot of the ammunition was rusting, sometimes before even ever being used. It was suspected it was the steel that was not up to scratch. An expert opinion was asked for.

This was when Harry got involved. He was asked to go see if there was anything that the steel makers of Sheffield could do to improve the material being used. Maybe there was a way to make the steel “rustless“?

But at this point we’ll let Museums of Sheffield tell the rest of the story. They have brought Harry back to tell the story himself:




And we are still using the same stainless steel today, every day, in kitchens up and down the country, 100 years later.



New York Times Article, 31 January 1915
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