The following remarks contained in the presidential address of the Iron and Steel Institute for 19011 are suggestive as to the possible issue in the near future not only of the competition at present existing between the Bessemer and open-hearth processes, but also of that between the acid and basic subdivision of the latter process: -

"Notwithstanding all that has been done chiefly in the direction of securing larger output and greater regularity in the product, the waste in the Bessemer process remains practically the same as it was in the early days. Although the purposes for which Bessemer steel (acid and basic) is now being used have increased enormously - fully one-half the make in this country being used for other purposes than railway material - it seems probable that by reason of cheaper methods of producing steel, the Bessemer processes will have in future much more serious competition than has been the case in the past. The recent modification of the open-hearth process by Bertrand-Thiel and by Talbot, aided, as they are certain to be, by the labour-saving appliances already in successful operation, seem to indicate that we are now on the verge of effecting still greater economies in our steel-producing methods, and unless some means can be devised of reducing the waste in the Bessemer converters, the Bessemer processes, which have served the world so well in the past, are likely to be superseded.

1 Iron and Steel Institute. Presidential address by Mr. William Whit well, May, 1901.

"For regularity and reliability of product the Siemens acid steel process stands pre-eminent. By far the greater part of the open-hearth steel in this country is made by this process, owing to the facilities for obtaining a cheap and efficient supply of hematite pig-iron, and so long as such conditions continue to exist it will undoubtedly hold its own. But the basic open-hearth process is advancing with rapid strides, and is seriously challenging the position of the acid process as regards the cheapness of its product; and this fact, coupled with what I have already said on the question of the pure ore supply, would seem to point to the conversion of many acid hearths into basic at no very distant date. In the developments of the iron and steel industries in the future the basic Siemens process will no doubt claim most attention."

In connection with the remarks of the authority above quoted, the following comparison of the total outputs of steel in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States for the year 1899 will be found of interest: -

The total amount of steel manufactured in Great Britain in the year mentioned was 4,855,325 tons. Of this amount 1,825,074 tons were produced by the Bessemer process and 3,030,251 tons by the open-hearth process. Of the Bessemer process 71 .6 per cent, was acid and 28.4 per cent, basic steel. Of the open-hearth process 90.3 per cent, was acid and 9.7 per cent, was basic steel. The Bessemer process produced in 1899 about 37 per cent, of the whole amount manufactured, whereas ten years previously, in 1889, its percentage of the gross output was 60.

In Germany the total production of steel in 1899 amounted to 6,290,434 metric tons. Of this amount 63.2 per cent, was basic converter, 26.9 per cent, basic open-hearth, and 9.9 per cent, was acid Bessemer.

In the United States for the same year the total production of steel was 10,662,170 tons of 2240 lbs. Of this amount 71.7 per cent, was Bessemer, 27.7 per cent, was open-hearth, and 1.2 per cent, crucible and special steel. Of the open-hearth steel 70.6 per cent, was basic and 29.4 per cent, was acid steel. In 1902 the total production of steel in the United States amounted to 14,994,200 tons, of which 5,687,729 tons were open-hearth, or nearly 38 per cent, of the total quantity. Of the open-hearth steel 21 per cent, was acid and 79 per cent, basic.

In 1904, the total production of steel in the United States amounted to 13,859,887 tons, of which 56.6 per cent, was Bessemer, 42.7 per cent, was open-hearth, and 0.7 per cent, was crucible or special steel. Of the open-hearth steel manufactured in the United States in 1904, 86.4 per cent, was basic and 13.6 per cent, was acid. Practically all the Bessemer steel was acid.

In Great Britain, the total production of steel in 1904 was 5,026,879 tons, of which 35.4 per cent, was Bessemer and 64.6 per cent, was open-hearth.

Of the open-hearth steel manufactured in Great Britain in 1904, 79.6 per cent, was acid and 20.4 per cent, was basic.