Some History On Aluminum

In the 1800s, Aluminium was a mystery to most people. It was a metal many had never seen, nor touched. The emperor Napoleon III of France was known to have given his most cherished guests aluminum dinnerware and all the other guests were simply given gold or silver dinnerware. This was because in 1883 aluminium was round $545 per pound. Accounting for inflation, that means aluminium cost $12,000 per pound. Less than 20 years later, aluminium cost 32 cents per pound. This incredible change came about in northern Ohio in 1883. Charles Martin Hall, a student at Obertin College was told by his professor that if anybody “could commercially extract aluminium they would be sure of a fortune!” With that Charles Martin Hall set out to discover to refining alumina (aluminum oxide), a method still used to this day. He discovered that when dissolving molten alumina in molten cryolite, one could use electrolysis to extract the pure aluminium.

When Hall was to give his first speech on aluminium, he incorrectly spelled in aluminum. This became the American spelling and eventually the American pronunciation of the word in use today. In Britain and Europe, it is still spelled aluminium.

After that, aluminum became the craze of the industrial revolution, in a sense, as anything and everything that was once cast from iron could now be cast from aluminum. The way of the world was changing. Aluminum is the third most abundant element on the planet, making it the most abundant metal. Most aluminum is mined from the mineral Bauxite.

Aluminum can be scrapped at around 45 cents per pound as of present. Aluminum is commonly used in many capacitors: after taking 2 long strips of aluminum, setting thin film between the two, an rolling them up, we get a commonly used capacitor. 

The uses of aluminum are endless, as it is 1/3 as dense as iron and 1/3 as stiff. Aluminum can be recycled without losing any of its physical reliability. This is great for scrappers, as it makes aluminum a great recyclable metal!

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