In 1886, Charles Martin Hall, a graduate of Ohio's Oberlin College, discovered the process of smelting aluminum, almost simultaneously with Paul Héroult in France. He realized that by passing an electrical current through a bath of cryolite and aluminum oxide, the then semi-rare metal aluminum remained as a byproduct. This discovery, now called the Hall-Héroult process, is still the only process used to make aluminum worldwide.
Probably fewer than ten sites in the United States and Europe produced any aluminum at the time. In 1887, Hall made an agreement to try his process at the Electric Smelting and Aluminum Company plant in Lockport, New York, but it was not used and Hall left after one year. On Thanksgiving Day 1888, with the help of Alfred E. Hunt, he started the Pittsburgh Reduction Company with an experimental smelting plant on Smallman Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1891, the company went into production in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. In 1895, a third site opened at Niagara Falls. By about 1903, after a settlement with Hall's former employer, and while its patents were in force, the company was the only legal supplier of aluminum in the US.
"The Aluminum Company of America"—became the firm's new name in 1907. The acronym "Alcoa" was coined in 1910, given as a name to two of the locales where major corporate facilities were located (although one of these has since been changed), and in 1999 was adopted as the official corporate name.
Close Up of Vignette:
Sinking Fund Debenture Bond, specimen, 1970’sPrinter: Security-Columbian Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: PA-Pennsylvania Subject Matter: Metals and Related
| Aluminum Companies
| Specimen Pieces Vignette Topic(s): Male Subject
| Industrial Scene
| Unique Theme Condition:
No fold lines, punch hole cancels in the signature areas and body, and some toning from age.