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Palace of Progress > Museum of History and Technology: 1950-1980
| ||Kelly converter, 1860s
William Kelly, proprietor of an iron furnace in Kentucky, claimed to have invented the Bessemer process before Henry Bessemer dida claim advantageous to American steel makers, who did not want to pay royalties on Bessemer's patents. Kelly built this converter in the 1860s, but although it was widely hailedand displayed at the Smithsonianas a great icon of American backwoods inventiveness, recent tests have shown that it was never successful. The Kelly converter was loaned to the Smithsonian in 1955 for the exhibition Iron and Steel in America and has been on display ever since.
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