Cyclops Works

Explore the growth of the steel city through:

  • Steel

Explore the history of steelmaking - its origins, inventions, workers and products.

From Benjamin Huntsman’s invention of crucible steel in 1742 to Sir Henry Bessemer’s mass production method in 1856 and Harry Brearley ‘s discovery of stainless steel in 1913.

  • Growth and Power

Chart Sheffield’s growth from village to city, exploring the city’s production history.

Why Sheffield? See how the growth of industry was tied into Sheffield’s water and steam power sources and the effect this growth had on the people who lived and worked here.

  • People and Skills

Learn more about the hand skills and trades particular to Sheffield, such as the Little Mesters, the backbone of Sheffield’s cutlery and toolmaking industries.

Find out about the terrible working conditions of an industrial town, the infamous Buffer Lasses, unemployment and the workhouse, illegal unions and the Sheffield Outrages.

  • Mass Industrialisation

Find out how large scale heavy industry took over Sheffield from the 1850s and how the giant steelworks which dominated the east side of Sheffield were created.

What effect did the industrial revolution have on the light trades of cutlery and tool manufacture? And what happened to Sheffield during the First and Second World Wars?

Find out what Sheffield’s industries are today.

  • The Victorian Age

 Discover Sheffield’s role in creating Victorian Britain and the Empire, and the recognition the city gained through its representation at the Great Exhibition.