Who Invented Aluminum Foil?
A study of the history of aluminum foil indicates that on April 2, 1889, Charles Martin Hall got a patent for producing the metal. The first rolling plant came out in 1910, called Dr. Lauber, Neher, Cie and Emmishofen. This was in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland.
Early History and Origin
Before aluminum foil came out, tin foil was used for packing foods and other products. The metal was stiff and could leave an adverse effect on the food. It was in 1825 that aluminum was discovered, courtesy of Hans Christian Oersted. The Danish chemist was the first to show actual samples of the foil.
In 1845, the German scientist Friedrich Wohler was able to produce bigger samples. Through his work the basic characteristics of the metal could be discerned. This was a crucial point in the history of aluminum foil.
It was in 1854 that the French chemist Henry Deville developed the means for mass producing it. Despite his efforts, foil was still too expensive to be of any practical use. It was not until Hall’s invention that the material became affordable. The patent number of the US inventor was #400,666.
In 1888, Hall set up the Pittsburgh Reduction Company. It would become known as the Aluminum Company of America. From $1,200 a kilo in 1852, the cost of aluminum foil had gone down to 18 cents per pound in 1914.
Another important inventor was Karl Joseph Bayer. In 1888, the
Austrian chemist invented a process so aluminum oxide could be extracted from bauxite. This was another vital chapter in the history of aluminum foil. Today his methodology is still being used.
The Lauber Aluminum Rolling Plant
The Lauber plant in Switzerland was maintained by J.G. Neher and his sons. Their plant was located at the base of the Rhine Falls. They were able to exploit the falls’ energy to process the metal.
It was here that Lauber learned the protective use of the metal. From that point on, the metal started being used for packaging food. Today it is also being used for lacquer and embossing.
Today the metal has become an indispensable part in many industries. The most common utilization is packaging. Without aluminum, the fats will oxidize. Throughout the history of aluminum foil, its use in preserving food remains its most well known application.
It is also used when storing pharmaceutical products and milk. It is also employed in pouches, tubes and cigarettes. It is also used to preserve leftover food.
It is also used for thermal insulation, and cable liters. Special aluminum foils is also used in aircraft. Special aluminum foil can be used to block radio broadcasts. It is also employed for cooking foods like mushrooms.
It is also utilized when grilling foods. In some cases, aluminum has also been employed for ornament and decorations. Using anodization, metallic aluminum can assume other colors.
The history of aluminum foil shows just how important it has become. Although it is no longer regarded as a precious metal, its service to modern living cannot be ignored.