March 14, 1801
- Colonel Paul Revere (65) purchased land, house, trip-hammer
shop or slitting mill, "cole" house in Canton, MA; started first
industrial copper rolling mill in America to roll copper into
sheets; sent to Maidstone, England for rolls; 1802
- first major contract; order for 6,000 feet of copper sheathing
to cover dome of relatively new Massachusetts State House in
Boston to prevent water leakage; 1803 -
commissioned to provide copper sheathing to protect hull of
Constitution or "Old Ironsides"; subsequently manufactured
copper boilers for Robert Fulton's early experimental
steamships, turned out muskets and brass cannons for War of
1812, manufactured copper dome of New York City Hall; May
1909 - plant closed, factory site acquired at auction by
Plymouth Rubber Company; 1928 - Revere Copper and
Brass Co. Inc. formed.
December 17, 1805
- Jean Dony obtained concession of Vieille-Montagne mine in
Moresnet (border between Belgium and Germany); 1837
- became "Societe Anonyme des Mines et Fonderies de Zinc de la
Vieille-Montagne"; 1906 - Union Miniere du Haut
Katanga (UMHK) founded to exploit rich mineral resources
(copper, cobalt, tin, precious metals) of Belgium's colony of
the Congo (1968 - nationalized by Zairian government);
1989 - subsidiaries of Union Miniere, Metallurgie
Hoboken-Overpelt (copper, lead, cobalt, germanium, precious
metals, special metals), Vieille-Montagne (zinc) and Mechim
(engineering) merged, transformed Union Miniere into integrated
industrial group; 2001 - name changed to Umicore
(materials technology group at frontier between metallurgy,
chemistry, materials science); 2005 - more than
14,000 employees, annual turnover of €6.6 billion euros.
December 16, 1851
Hiram W. Hayden, of Waterbury, CT,
received first U.S. patent for "Machinery for Making Brass
Kettles and Articles of Like Character from Disks of Metal";
1852 - sold patent to The Waterbury Brass Company,
dominated manufacture of brass kettles in country.
Henri Merle founded Compagnie des Produits Chimiques Henri Merle
in in Salindres, near Alais, in Gard region of France, to
produce caustic soda from coal, salt, pyrites, limestone ;
1860 - began
producing aluminum metal, used chemically-based process
developed by Henri Sainte-Claire Deville in 1854 (made aluminum
through electrolysis of alumina), granted 30 year monopoly by
Napoleon III; 1877
- Alfred Rangot became manager of plant (father-in-law named
Pechiney); 1897 - renamed
Société des Produits Chimiques d'Alais et de la Camargue;
1948 - name changed
to Pechiney SA; 2003
- world's 4th largest producer, developer of aluminum products,
34,000 employees, 320 manufacturing and sales facilities in 50
countries; February 6, 2004
- became wholly-owned subsidiary of Alcan Corporation (acquired
for for $4.52 billion); became world's biggest aluminum producer
(ahead of Alcoa); 2007
- Alcan acquired by Rio Tinto.
Alfred Rangot (A.R.) Pechiney
- Pechiney SA
October 3, 1868 - William H. Remington, of Boston,
MA, received a patent for "Improved Process for Electroplating
with Nickel"; nickel plating.
February 23, 1886
- Charles M. Hall invented the electrolytic process for
manufacture of aluminum (electrolysis of aluminum oxide
dissolved in a cryolite-aluminum fluoride mixture to separate
aluminum from its ore) in the woodshed behind his family's home
eight months after finishing college.
- Enos A. Wall realized potential of copper deposits in Bingham
Canyon, 15 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah; acquired
claims to land; 1890 - underground mining began;
1898 - Samuel Newhouse, Thomas Weir formed Boston
Consolidated Mining Company; 1903 - Daniel C.
Jackling, Wall formed Utah Copper Company; 1906 -
began digging (with financing from Guggenheim Exploration);
Kennecott Mines Company formed in Alaska (named for explorer,
naturalist Robert Kennicott); 1910 - Utah Copper
merged with Boston Consolidated; 1915 - 25%
interest acquired by Kennecott (all assets acquired in 1936);
1981 - acquired by Standard Oil of Ohio; 1987 -
acquired by British Petroleum; Kennecott became part of BP
Minerals America; 1989 - BP mining assets acquired
by Rio Tinto Zinc; later merged Conzinc Riotinto of Australia
Ltd.; named Rio Tinto.
Charles M. Hall, metallurgist Alfred E. Hunt formed Pittsburgh
Reduction Company, began production of first commercial
aluminum; April 2, 1889 - Hall, of Oberlin, OH,
received several patents: for a "Process of Reducing Aluminium
from Its Fluoride Salts by Electrolysis"; for the "Manufacture
of Aluminium"; for a "Process of Electrolyzing Crude Salts of
Aluminium"; for a "Process of Electrolyzing Fused Salts of
Aluminium"; for a "Process of Reducing Aluminium by
Electrolysis"; inexpensive electrolytic process to extract
aluminum from its ore; aluminum is the most abundant metal in
the earth's crust, not found naturally in pure form, must be
separated from its surrounding ore;
1907 - company name
changed to Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA).
Charles Martin Hall
Pittsburgh Reduction Co.
November 30, 1899
- The Hartford Electric Light Company (Hartford, CT) used
aluminum for first time commercially in the U.S. as an
electrical transmission conductor from its waterpower plant at
Tariffville, CT to Hartford, CT; 1955 - washed
away in the flood.
- Northern Aluminum Company incorporated (Canadian subsidiary of
Pittsburgh Reduction Company); 1925 - renamed
Aluminum Company of Canada; 1928 - Aluminum
Limited incorporated (parent of ACOC); 1982 -
merged with The British Aluminium Company plc; 1985
- acquired most of aluminum assets of Atlantic Richfield Company
in U. S.; increased presence in markets for fabricated products;
1987 - reorganized, name changed to Alcan
Aluminium Limited; 2001 - renamed Alcan Inc.
- Richard S. Reynolds, Sr., nephew of tobacco king R. J.
Reynolds, founded U.S. Foil Company in Louisville, KY; supplied
lead, tin foil wrappers to cigarette, candy companies;
1924 - acquired Eskimo Pie Corporation (largest client,
product wrapped in its foil), founded by Christian K. Nelson and
Russell C. Stover in 1921; 1926 - began producing
aluminum foil for packaging (price of aluminum dropped, switched
from tin to lightweight, non-corrosive metal); 1928
- acquired Robertshaw Thermostat, Fulton Sylphon, part of
Beechnut Foil; created Reynolds Metals Company; 1947
- introduced Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil, transformed food
storage; 1948 - Richard S. Reynolds, Jr. took
over; April 26, 1955 - registered "Reynolds Wrap"
trademark first used September 11, 1953 (wrapping sheets);
September 13, 1960 - registered "Reynolds Aluminum"
trademark first used in June 1952 (aluminum and aluminum alloys
in cast, rolled, extruded, and drawn form); 1976 -
David P. Reynolds (grandson) took over; May 3, 2000
- merged with Alcoa; became largest aluminum company in United
April 20, 1926
- Colin G. Fink, of New York, NY, received a patent for a
"Process of Electrodepositing Chromium and of Preparing Baths
Therefor"; chrome plating.
November 2, 1957
-Titanium Metals Corp. of America (TIMET) opened first titanium
mill in Toronto, OH for rolling and forging titanium = third
birth of a tonnage structural metal industry in past century (
aluminum, magnesium, titanium); ingots are forged into slabs,
billets and bars; slabs are hot rolled to sheet and plate or
cold rolled for strip and welded tube applications, bar, rod,
(Alcan), Albert W. Whitaker (1974).
Aluminum Trail. (Montreal, QU: Alcan Press, 488 p. [2nd
ed.]). Whitaker, Albert W., 1892- ; Aluminum Company of Canada.
(Alcoa of Australia), Geoffrey Blainey (1997).
White Gold: The Story of Alcoa of Australia. (St.
Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 264 p.). Alcoa of
Australia--History; Aluminum industry and
(Alcoa), Charles Carl Carr (1952).
Alcoa, An American Enterprise. (New York, NY: Rinehart,
292 p.). Aluminum Company of America.
(Alcoa), Junius David Edwards (1955).
The Immortal Woodshed; The Story of the Inventor Who Brought
Aluminum to America. (New York, NY: Dodd, Mead, 244 p.).
Hall, Charles Martin, 1863-1914; Aluminum industry and trade --
(Alcoa), George D. Smith (1988).
From Monopoly to Competition: The Transformations of Alcoa,
1888-1996. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press,
554 p.). Academic (Economics Dept., NYU). Aluminum Industry,
Aluminum Company of America.
(Aluminium de Grece), Ivan Grinberg et Philippe
Aluminium de Grece: l’Usine aux Trois Rivages.
(Grenoble, FR: Presses Uiversitaires de Grenoble, 318
p.). Aluminium de Grece (Firm); Aluminum industry and
trade --Greece; Corporations, French --Greece.
(American Smelting & Refining), Issac F.
Metal Magic; the Story of the American Smelting & Refining
Company (New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, 313 p.). American
Smelting and Refining Company.
(American Brass Company), Compiled and Edited
by Jeremy Brecher, Jerry Lombardi, and Jan Stackhouse (1982).
Brass Valley: The Story of Working People's Lives and Struggles
in an American Industrial Region. (Philadelphia, PA:
Temple University Press, 284 p.). American Brass Company --
History; Brass industry and trade -- Connecticut -- Naugatuck
River Valley -- History; Brass industry and trade -- Employees
-- Labor unions -- Connecticut -- Naugatuck River Valley --
History; Brass industry and trade -- Connecticut -- Naugatuck
River Valley -- Employees -- Interviews; Ethnology --
Connecticut -- Naugatuck River Valley; Naugatuck River Valley
(Conn.) -- Social conditions; Naugatuck River Valley (Conn.) --
Economic conditions; Naugatuck River Valley (Conn.) --
(Cornish Copper Company), W. H. Pascoe (1983).
CCC, The History of the Cornish Copper Company. (Redruth,
Cornwall , UK: Truran, 202 p.). Cornish Copper Company--History;
Copper industry and trade--England--Cornwall (County)--History.
(Eagle-Picher), Douglas Knerr (1992).
Eagle-Picher Industries: Strategies for Survival in the
Industrial Marketplace, 1840-1980 (Columbus, OH: Ohio
State University Press, 268 p.). Eagle-Picher
Industries--History; Nonferrous metal industries--United
(Elkem Metals Company), Tim McKinney (1992).
Elkem Metals: 90 Years of Progress in the Kanawha Valley,
1901-1991. (Charleston, WV: Pictorial Histories Pub.
Co., 149 p.). Elkem Metals Company--History; Hydroelectric power
plants--West Virginia--Kanawha River--History;
Metals--Purification--West Virginia--Alloy--History; Kanawha
County (W. Va.)--History.
(International Silver Company), Earl Chapin
Century of Silver, 1847-1947; Connecticut Yankees and a Noble
Metal. (New York, NY: R.M. McBride & Company, 388 p.).
International Silver Company; Silverwork--New England.
(Pechiney), Pierre Doray (1989).
Formation et Mobilisation Industrielle: Le Cas
d’Aluminium Pechiney. (Lille, FR: Presses
Universitaires de Lille, 230 p.). Aluminium Pechiney
(Firm); Aluminum industry and trade --Employees
--Training of --France; Occupational training --France;
Manpower planning --France.
(Pechiney), Daniel Karlin, Remi Laine (1994).
La Multinationale: Voyage au Coeur
du Groupe Pechiney. (Paris, FR: A. Michel:
ARTE/La Sept editions, 454 p.). Aluminium Pechiney
(Firm); Aluminum industry and trade --France;
International business enterprises --France.
(Pechiney), Philippe Mioche (1994).
L’Alumine a Gardanne de 1893 a Nos
Jours: Une Traversee Industrielle en Provence.
(Grenoble, FR: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble, 179
p.). Aluminium Pechiney (Firm) --History; Aluminum
industry and trade --France --Gardanne --History --20th
century; Gardanne (France) --Economic conditions.
(Pechiney), Muriel Le Roux (1998).
L’Entreprise et la Recherche: Un
Siecle de Recherche Industrielle a Pechiney.
(Paris, FR: Rive Droite: Institut d’Histoire de
l’industrie, 499 p.). Aluminium Pechiney (Firm);
Aluminum industry and trade --Technological innovations
--France --History; Research, Industrial --France
(Pechiney), Gerard Vindt (2006).
Les Hommes de l’Aluminium:
Histoire sociale de Pechiney 1921-1973. (Paris, FR: Editions
de l’Atelier, Editions Ouvrieres: Institut pour
l’Histoire de l’Aluminium, 254 p.). Aluminium Pechiney
(Firm) --History --20th century; Aluminum industry and
trade --France --History --20th century; Aluminum
industry and trade --Social aspects --France.
(Pechiney), Philippe Thaure (2007).
Pechiney: Vendu: Grandeur et
Decadence du Plus Grand Groupe Industriel Francais.
(Paris, FR : Mines Paris, les Presses Paritech, 306 p.).
Aluminium Pechiney (Firm) --History; Aluminum industry
and trade --France --Management --History.
(Poongsan Corporation), Choong Soon Kim
The Culture of Korean Industry: An Ethnography of Poongsan
Corporation. (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press,
248 p.). ungsan Kumsok Kongop Chusik Hoesa (Korea); Metal
trade--Korea (South)--Case studies; Business anthropology--Korea
(South)--Case studies; Industrial management--Korea
(South)--Case studies; Economic development--Religious
aspects--Confucianism--Case studies; Capitalism--Korea
(South)--Religious aspects--Confucianism; Korea
(South)--Economic conditions; Korea (South)--Social conditions.
(Revere Copper and Brass),
Isaac Frederick Marcosson (1955).
Copper Heritage; The Story of Revere Copper and Brass
Incorporated. (New York, NY: Dodd, Mead, 254 p.). Revere
Copper and Brass Incorporated.
(Vivian Younger Bond), Godfrey Harrison
(1959). V. Y. B.: A Century of Metal Broking, 1859-1959.
(London, UK: Vivian, Younger & Bond, 103 p.). Vivian, Younger &
Ryuto Shimada (2005).
The Intra-Asian Trade in Japanese Copper by the Dutch East India
Company During the Eightenth Century. (Boston, MA:
Brill, 225 p.). Nederlandsche Oost-Indische Compagnie--History--18th
century; Copper industry and trade--Japan--History--18th
century; Copper mines and mining--Japan--History--18th century;
Copper industry and trade--History--18th century;
(Stolle Corporation), Geoffrey Williams ;
foreword by Congressman Rob Portman (2004).
Ingenuity in a Can: The Ralph Stolle Story. (Wilmington,
OH: Orange Frazer Press, 117 p.). Stolle, Ralph J. 1904-1996;
Inventors--United States--Biography; Inventions--History; Tin
containers. Changed soda
pop culture; created method for manufacturing easy open, pull
tab, seemingly mundane device but an engineering feat.
Business History Links
Institut pour L'Histoire de L'Aluminium
L’Institut pour l’histoire de l’aluminium est une association à
but non lucratif régie par la loi de 1901 et compte quelque 350
membres. Créé en 1986, il bénéficie aujourd'hui du soutien
financier d'Alcan et s’appuie sur un conseil scientifique
composé de professeurs d’université spécialistes d’histoire
économique et de gestion.