Chemical Society designated the production of aluminum by electrochemistry
in Oberlin, Ohio, a National Historic Chemical Landmark on September
17, 1997. The plaque commemorating the event reads:
On February 23, 1886, in his woodshed laboratory at
the family home on East College Street, Charles Martin Hall succeeded
in producing aluminum metal by passing an electric current through a
solution of aluminum oxide in molten cryolite. Aluminum was a semiprecious
metal before Halls discovery of this economical method to release
it from its ore. His invention, which made this light, lustrous, and
nonrusting metal readily available, was the basis of the aluminum industry
in North America.
The American Chemical Society designated the commercialization of the
Hall aluminum process in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a National Historic
Chemical Landmark on November 2, 2001. The plaque commemorating the
In 1886 Charles Martin Hall invented an economical
electrochemical process to release aluminum from its ore. Until then,
this light, lustrous and non-rusting metal was rare and costly. A group
of Pittsburgh investors, headed by metallurgist Alfred E. Hunt, agreed
to support the commercialization of Hall's process and founded the Pittsburgh
Reduction Company. In 1888 Hall, assisted by Arthur Vining Davis, began
to produce aluminum in the company's pilot plant on Smallman Street.
In 1907 the company became the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa).
Aluminum has since become part of everyday life with many usesfrom
teakettles in the early days, to aircraft, power lines, building materials,
food packaging, and artwork.