National Geographic : 1937 Feb
Suppose YOU had "Invented" Aluminum What would you have done, if you had stood in the shoes of young Charles Martin Hall in Oberlin, Ohio in 1886, just after he had discovered the proc ess for the commercial production of aluminum? You would have had a great vision of the use fulness of the new metal and of the possibilities of large financial returns. But you would have had no money, no influence, no one to be of assistance. You would have looked for help, wouldn't , *STON . you? Hall did. He found S ...- in Pittsburgh a group of Young men who had a .--- '' few thousand dollars, 0"t / much courage, and a lot of enterprise. -, e Hall had his patent and SU'P his fine talents; he per suaded the six young men to put in their money. Some of them also contributed their personal services. Together they formed a company. It was the natural thing for such venturesome young men to do. But the process of incorpora tion did not change the fact that they were still just a group of earnest young men fired with an idea. After many heartaches they produced and sold a few pounds of the new metal. For a long period, business came in almost pound by pound. But eventually there came a time when the days weren't long enough for these few men to do all the work. So they engaged others to help them. Some went to work to find ways to make aluminum stronger and harder. Others worked to improve production methods so the price could be lowered. Some made a specialty of devising new ways to use aluminum, and others became salesmen demonstrating the new uses. That is a brief word-picture of the growth of this or almost any other large manufacturing com pany; each man's value multiplied by what his associates are doing; each man aided by the physical facilities provided by the company. The contagious enthusiasms of group action are what cause companies to grow. This is exactly how and why we have grown year by year since 1888. Literally, we had to grow, for it now takes 23,500 of us to make sure that more than 5,000 companies in more than 200 industries get the best aluminum we know how to make. Every man and woman in the United States is bene fited in some way every day by the fact that aluminum has been made capable of doing some special thing better than it can be done by any other material. That is the real accomplishment of the aluminum industry. We are interested in conducting our own part of the aluminum business profit ably. Therefore, we are interested in the continued growth of the man power and facilities necessary to make our product still more useful.