A collection of unusual history trivia and facts, focusing on early history.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Foiling the Nazis
As WWII loomed, defense experts realized how important aluminum would be in building an air force. At that time, the Aluminum Company of America’s (Alcoa) factory south of Knoxville,Tennessee, which used hydroelectric power from dams constructed by the TVA, was the largest aluminum plant in the world. New plants were needed. A new Alcoa plant in Vancouver, WA, which used electricity from dams constructed on the Columbia River, began producing aluminum in September 1940. During World War II, bauxite mines in central Arkansas produced more than 95 percent of the ore that was made into aluminum. Smelting of Bauxite ores for aluminum requires significant amounts of electricity so processing facilities are located near dams that generate electricity. These 2 plus 18 other plants produced aluminum for the war effort. By the end of the war, America had produced 305,000 planes and all of them had skins fabricated from aluminum alloys.