The hit-or-miss tactics of the market place pervaded the entire social structure. The leaders of industry were for the most part empirics: boasting that they were “practical” men they prided themselves on their technical ignorance and naivety. Solvay, who made a fortune out of the Solvay soda process, knew nothing about chemistry; neither did Krupp, the discoverer of cast-steel; Hancock, one of the early experimenters with India rubber, was equally ignorant. Bessemer, the inventor of many things besides the Bessemer process  of making steel, at first merely stumbled on his great invention through the accident of using iron with a low phosphorus content: it was only the failure of his method with the continental ores that had a high phosphorus content that led him to consider the chemistry of the process. (Mumford 1934:193-4)
MUMFORD, Lewis. 1934. Technique and civilization. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.