National Geographic : 1952 Nov
3Y1 1nay AKesu Pushed by a Stern-wheeler, an Ocean Freighter Goes into Dry Dock at Portland The cargo ship, which lost its rudder in a storm at sea, is helped into the Swan Island repair basin in the Willamette River by the Portland,a vessel modeled after Mississippi River steamboats (page 611). In the office a company official explained to us some of the things we had seen. "It takes four to six pounds of bauxite," he said, "to make two pounds of alumina, and from two pounds of alumina we get one pound of aluminum. In making a pound of alumi num we use about three-quarters of a pound of carbon electrode and 10 kilowatt-hours of electricity. "Thanks to the Columbia, the electric power so important in making aluminum is relatively cheap. We get most of ours from the Bonne ville Power Administration." Vancouver, oldest settlement in Washing ton, started in 1824 as a Hudson's Bay Com pany trading post under the famous Dr. John McLoughlin as factor. The following year old Fort Vancouver was built. This became a part of a United States defense system in 1848, and it was not deactivated until 1947. The historic barracks and grounds are now a well-kept city park. Vancouver was incorporated as a town in 1857. Today it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It had a popu lation of only 18,788 in 1940. In 1950 the census recorded 41,664 within the city limits. Longview, a City Made to Order At the end of World War II, H. J. Kaiser's Vancouver shipyards closed down, but ex pansion of the Alcoa mills, completion in 1949 of the Carborundum Company plant, and establishment of a score of smaller con cerns gave employment to most of the laborers thrown out of shipbuilding jobs.