At 2pm on May 24th 1883 the Brooklyn Bridge opened. On that day in history 150,300 people crossed the bridge and paid the 5 cent toll. It was the longest suspension bridge ever built, a span of 1595.5 feet and the worlds first steel cable suspension bridge.
On October 14th 1898 my grandfather, Maxwell Robert Brooklyn Mushet Thomas was born. He was three generations removed from Mary Thomas, born 1818 in St. Briavels, Wales who married Robert Forester Mushet the inventor of the modern day steel process. This is where my story begins.
In the early 19th century most steel needed to be shaped before it could be used after casting in the mold. To harden the steel it was plunged into cold water (quenching), but this often resulted in cracking. A solution to this was discovered in 1868 by Robert Mushet, who was working as an Iron-Master in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England. He discovered that by adding a small amount of tungsten to the crucible melt a new steel was formed that had remarkable qualities. Tools made from this steel required no quenching, steel hardened in the open air. This tougher steel could now cut harder metals and at faster speeds than the old carbon steel. Mushet described it as self-hardening steel, which soon became known as Robert Mushet's Special Steel ("R.M.S."). This product was the first real tool steel and the forerunner of modern high quality steel.
The process was patented but he left the renewal to others who neglected to do this and the patent lapsed. Englishman Henry Bessemer appropriated it, as anyone then could, but then claimed the whole process as his own invention.
Years later Bessemer steel was used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and was instrumental in the 'invention' of the skyscraper, attributed to George Fuller (1851-1900).
George Fuller built the Tacoma Building in 1889, the first structure ever built where the outside walls did not carry the weight of the building. Using Bessemer steel beams, Fuller created steel cages that supported all the weight in tall buildings and skyscrapers.The Flatiron Building was one of New York City's first skyscrapers, built in 1902 by Fuller's building company.
In my own business,everyday, I strive to match the passion and determination to excell exhibited by these engineers and builders years ago to create extraordinary buildings. I can do no less.
I hope you enjoyed the story of my heritage and invite you to become part of Maxwell Homes modern day success by letting us create your new home in the spirit of my ancestors.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Godwin Maxwell Thomas