Innovation in the British Steel Industry

  • Jonathan Aylen


Until the 1880s Britain was the world’s foremost producer of steel and a leading innovator, with developments such as Bessemer steelmaking to its credit (Dennis, 1967). But by 1890 Britain had been surpassed as a producer by the United States and by Germany, too, by 1900. Now Britain stands eighth in world steel output. In international trade Britain has performed badly compared to West Germany and Japan, a relative newcomer to world steel production. In 1965 Britain still had the fourth most favourable net balance among Western producers in direct steel trade; by 1974 she had become a net steel importer. The labour productivity of the British steel industry is now below that of all its major national European competitors, half that of the United States and almost a third that of Japan (American Iron and Steel Institute, 1975, table 4).


Blast Furnace Continuous Casting Steel Industry Steel Institute Minimum Efficient Scale 
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Copyright information

© Science Policy Research Unit 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Aylen

There are no affiliations available

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