BESSEMER, ALFRED GEORGE (1813 -1898)

Alfred George Bessemer was the grandson of Henry Bessemer engineer and inventor.   Alfred was born at Charlton House, 23 Church Road, Upper Norwood 13 July 1868 and christened at All Saints Church in August.

The Bessemer’s name is chiefly known in connection with Henry Bessemer’s process for the manufacture of steel.

He was educated at St Leonards and Finsbury Technical College, London, where he went through a two year course in Electrical Engineering (1885-87), gained prizes in Electro Technics and distinguished himself in Mathematics.  He served his apprenticeship at the Brush Electrical Engineering Co. In Lambeth (1888-90).  In the 1881 the Electric exhibition at Crystal Palace the north end was lit by Brush Co using arc lights.  In 1893 Henry Bessemer successfully proposed his membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers.  Leaving their service in 1893, he was employed for a short period in the mechanical engineering works of Messrs. W. H. Allen and Sons, and subsequently went to Chatham as an assistant to Louis Brennan, C.B., for whom he carried out important experimental work.

Alfred lived at 20 Lancaster Road between at least 1884 and 1900.  During that time he married Edith Burke (1894). They appear to have moved to Gillingham in Kent by 1900 and to Wimbledon by 1906.

Alfred died in odd circumstances at his home, Loreto, Cottenham Park Road, Wimbledon, in February, 1906. He was found dead with his neck suspended in the cord of a skylight.  Newspaper reports say that he dined with his friend that evening and then played with his pet monkey in the billiard room till eventually falling asleep on a chair.  He was later found suspended from a skylight cord.  At his inquest the jury returned an open verdict, adding that there was not enough evidence to show how he came by his death.