Attention is called to the birth of an industry in Iowa that promises to be one of the greatest industries of the State in the near future. It is the establishment of a plant for the production of aluminum. As is well known, this metal is soon to be the metal of the world-replacing largely iron, steel and other metallic substances used in the arts. The properties of aluminum need not be dwelt upon here. The cost of producing the metal has hitherto been the great drawback to its general usage. A few years ago the price was $15.00 or more a pound. Now it is about 50 cents. And improved methods have just been announced by which it may be extracted at a cost of less than 20 cents per pound. A few months ago a plant was established at Hampton, Iowa, which is working a clay yielding three ounces more of aluminum to the bushel than in any other known locality in the west, and, perhaps, in the United States. The suggestion is important. Iowa has within her borders inexhaustible supplies of good clays admirably adapted for this purpose. But they require careful investigation that they may not be worked indiscriminately and thereby lead to complete failure in many cases. When the industry shall have become thoroughly established the gold fields of California, of Australia, of indeed the whole world will sink into insignificance as compared with the wealth coming from this source.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Sciences
©1890 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Keyes, Charles R.
"Aluminum in Iowa,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 1(Pt. 2), 30-30.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol1/iss2/18