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The History of Skyscrapers 
Empire State Building New York - Skyscrapers
Empire State Building New York - Skyscrapers
 Important Persons
Henry Bessemer
 Related Innovations
The Tallest Skyscrapers
What is the tallest skyscraper in the world?
Skyscrapers - Great Buildings Online
Howstuffworks "How Skyscrapers Work"
BUILDING BIG: All About Skyscrapers

By Mary Bellis

Englishmen, Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) invented first process for mass-producing steel inexpensively, essential to the development of skyscrapers. An American, William Kelly, had held a patent for "a system of air blowing the carbon out of pig iron" another method of steel production. Bankruptcy forced Kelly to sell his patent to Henry Bessemer, who had been working on a similar process for making steel. Bessemer patented "a decarbonization process, utilizing a blast of air" in 1855. Modern steel is made using technology based on Henry Bessemer's process.

Flatiron Building - SkyscrapersFlatiron Building - Skyscaper

The "invention" of the skyscraper lies with George A. Fuller (1851-1900). George Fuller worked on solving the problems of the "load bearing capacities" of tall buildings. George Fuller built the Tacoma Building in 1889, the first structure ever built where the outside walls did not carrying the weight of the building. Using Bessemer steel beams, Fuller created steel cages that supported all the weight in tall buildings or skyscrapers. The Flatiron Building was one of New York City's first skyscrapers (Broadway and 23rd), built in 1902 by Fuller's building company. Daniel H. Burnham was the chief architect.

Woolworth Building, New York Circa 1910-1920 - SkyscrapersWoolworth Building - Skyscaper

First Use of the Term Skyscraper
The term "skyscraper" was first used during the 1880s, shortly after the first 10 to 20 story buildings were built in the United States. Combining several innovations: steel structure, elevators, central heating, electrical plumbing pumps and the telephone, skyscrapers came to dominate American skylines at the turn of the century. The world's tallest building when it opened in 1913, architect Cass Gilbert's 793-foot Woolworth Building was considered a leading example of tall building design.

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