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The city of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, sits at the point where 4 streams, the Sheaf, Rivelin, Porter, and Loxley meet to form the River Don in the eastern foothills of the Pennines. Its roots can be traced to the settlement in a clearing at the banks of the River Sheaf in the 1st century.

After the Norman Conquest, Sheffield Castle was constructed. The purpose of the castle was to provide control of the Saxon settlements in the area.

In 1086, it was entered into the Domesday Book as an Anglo-Saxon village named Escafeld. The name of the location is Old English and named after the River Sheffield which runs through it.

It was known for its production of knives during the 14th century. In 1624, as members of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, became second only to London in production of cutlery. The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire was a trade guild of metalworkers who made knives, blades scissors, and cutlery ware based in Sheffield.

Crucible steel is crafted by melting pig iron, iron, and occasionally steel with sand, ashes, glass, and a cleaning agent called flux in a metal or ceramic container. In the 1740s, a Sheffield watchmaker named Benjamin Huntsman improved the process of crucible steel. At about the same time, Sheffield plate was invented. Sheffield plate was a form of silver plating which was made by layering silver and copper. Together, these two discoveries contributed to the fast growth of Sheffield, and the town was granted a city charter in 1893. Stainless steel was invented in 1912 at the Brown Firth Laboratories in Sheffield, and it became the most common alloy of its ilk.

In the 1860s, Sheffield was one of the main locations for trade union conflict between the craftsmen and their employers during the Sheffield Outrages. At its peak, a streak of explosions and murders originated with union militants.

The bone of contention began with the complaint over a wage claim and culminated in 1866 with the grinders’ strike of 1866. Despite the names of these movements, the crux of the matter was more about than about the introduction of new machinery for file-cutting and the safeguards the unions believed would be necessary with the introduction of the new machines than it was wages. In 1871, the Trade Union Act, which recognised the legal status of trade unions in England.


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