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Charles M. Hall
February 23, 1886
Charles M. Hall discovers new aluminum production process

In 1886, at the age of 22 years old, Charles Martin Hall discovered an inexpensive method for isolating pure aluminum from its compounds. He then began looking for money to finance his dream of producing low-cost aluminum.
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Pittsburgh Reduction Company building
Arthur Vining Davis
October 1, 1888
Alcoa’s journey begins

A group of men, headed by Captain Alfred E. Hunt, agreed to take the financial risk of sharing Hall's dream and together they form the Pittsburgh Reduction Company on October 1, 1888. The company's first employee was Arthur Vining Davis, who would be instrumental in developing the Alcoa Works plant, later to be called Tennessee Operations. Davis would become the only surviving link to the company’s early days in 1914, when Charles Martin Hall dies.

The first commercial aluminum made using the Hall process was poured later that year, on Thanksgiving Day, 1888.

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Arthur Vining Davis stands outside the Reduction building with another unknown employee.
January 1, 1907
Renamed Aluminum Company of America

In 1907, the Pittsburgh Reduction Company is renamed the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). The change is made to indicate the type of business the company is in, as well as avoid confusion with another Pittsburgh-based company – the American Reduction Company – a garbage and disposal collection agency.
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The Howard farm house in the early 1900’s. Courtesy of Eagleton family.
Calderwood village. Courtesy of Palmer family.
September 13, 1910
Land purchased for new hydro electric development

After the first visit made by the company to the Little Tennessee River gorge in March, 1910, the Howard Farm is purchased on September 13, 1910. The farmhouse would become the principal office and headquarters for the development of the first three dams in the hydro electric facilities over the next twenty years. The area would originally be named “Alcoa” and renamed “Calderwood” in 1919 when the City of Alcoa was incorporated.
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Recreated from the Maryville Times – June 27, 1913.
Construction continues in 1918 with the building of the carbon plant. Courtesy of Hultquist family.
June 18, 1913
Company buys land in Blount County

On June 18, 1913, a conference was held in Pittsburgh, PA with several high ranking aluminum company officials, including Alcoa President Arthur Vining Davis and Chief Hydraulic Engineer James W. Rickey. The group decided that if a suitable tract of land could be found, a site would be constructed near Maryville where ample railroad lines and power would be available. Plans for the new site were developed days later and the Goddard farm was purchased on June 27, 1913. Construction started immediately on what is now known as the South Plant.

Read the Maryville Times newspaper article.

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Photo taken in 1922. Four of the employees are John Bird, Enoch Smith, Oscar Paty and Lee Byrd. The other is unknown.
March 6, 1914
First pot starts at Aluminum Company of America Alcoa Works

On March 6, 1914, the first Hall pot began operation at Alcoa Works using power from the Tennessee Electric Power Company. The Hall pot was the same type of cell used by the Company since it began production in 1888. Two lines of pots were installed in 1914 and two more lines began operation in 1915. By World War I, another two lines had been added. The Hall pots began being replaced with Soderberg pots in 1927 and the final Hall pot was closed down on February 4, 1952.
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The “Mule Barn” – built in 1918.
1916
Education key to successful development

In order to have a good city, good schools were a must. In 1916, the first school, Vose, is built by the Babcock Lumber Company. Most of the students attend Maryville schools until 1918, when the City of Maryville no longer allows Alcoa students to attend due to overcrowding. A “mule barn” is quickly modified to become a six-room school, and is used until Springbrook School (1920) and Bassel School (1923) are constructed. In 1923, the “mule barn” becomes a municipal building for the City of Alcoa and is closed in 1951. In 1926, the Charles M. Hall School is opened for African Americans and in 1939, Springbrook High School, later named Alcoa High school, is dedicated.
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Victor J. Hultquist, the father of Alcoa. Courtesy of Hultquist family.
August, 1917
Hultquist transfers to Alcoa Works

Victor J. Hultquist, who would come to be known as the father of the City of Alcoa, transfers to the new Maryville site in August of 1917. He is named construction engineer for the facility and in 1919 is named the first city manager for the city of Alcoa. Mr. Hultquist would be instrumental in developing the city’s infrastructure, water and sewer needs, as well as parks and education facilities. V. J. Hultquist would become the longest tenured City Manager in Alcoa, and retire on July 1, 1946.
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Lincoln street looking toward smelting plant. Courtesy of Hultquist family.
1917
Townsite construction begins

Alcoa further demonstrated its expansion into East Tennessee when an extensive townsite program was developed. 150 houses were built for Company employees by 1914. Around the same time, the decision was made to dedicate one acre of parkland for each 100 residents. As employment and production picked up, the need for a town was fully realized. The original plan divided the town into four sections – Bassel, named for G.M. Bassel, one of the Company’s first engineers; Hall, named after Charles M. Hall; Springbrook, named for the brook flowing through what is now Springbrook; and Vose, named after C.L. Babcock’s wife. Mr. Babcock was the first Mayor of the City of Alcoa. A scaled plan was laid out for a future population of 10,000.
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Aluminum Bulletin – Volume 1, Issue 1 – October, 1918.
October 1918
Let’s Win the War!

In October of 1918, the Aluminum Bulletin was issued so “every man, and woman, in the employ of the company can get a copy, enjoy its contents, and then send it on to some friend.” The newsletter highlighted employees serving in World War I and provided detailed information about the development of the operations. The publication prints its last issue in December of 1920.
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Construction of Cheoah Dam. Courtesy of Hultquist family.
April 13, 1919
Power sent to Alcoa Works in Maryville

The first dam to power Tennessee Operations, Cheoah Dam, is completed and sends power to the aluminum in 1919. Built in a narrow gorge on the Little Tennessee River near the mouth of the Cheoah River, the dam is an arched, gravity-type concrete structure rising 225 feet in the air and running 750 feet long. The original powerhouse contained four turbines, each with a capacity of 33,000 horsepower. When complete, the Cheoah project includes the world’s highest overflow dam and the largest hydroelectric generating units.
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The City of Alcoa is established on July 1, 1919 by State of Tennessee charter.
July 1, 1919
Incorporated by “sleight of hand”

The City of Alcoa was chartered by private act by the Tennessee General Assembly effective July 1, 1919. Originally, company operations were headquartered at Calderwood in an area itself known as “Alcoa” or "ACOA". The City of Maryville was interested in annexation of the area purchased by Alcoa the company, but it has been speculated that when legislation was introduced to incorporate the city, Maryville officials were under the impression the company was incorporating the Calderwood area. Hence, the City of Alcoa was born by sleight of hand.

An interesting sidenote - the name for the city - Alcoa - was originally suggested by Mrs. J.W. Rickey, wife of the Chief Hydraulic Engineer James Rickey.

Read the complete City of Alcoa charter.

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Photo of first ingot from the West Plant.
Frank Huffstetler and S.A. Copp place the first ingot in the remelt furnace in 1920. Others unknown.
Construction at the West Plant. Courtesy of Hultquist family.
August 16, 1920
First sheet of aluminum rolls off the West Plant “Sheet Mill”

At 10:55 a.m., Monday, August 16, 1920, Alcoans wrote the first chapter in the history of the Tennessee fabricating operations. The first ingot came up from the melting room and was put through the rolls for its first pass. The sheet mill, as the West Plant was called, thus began operation. Eleven other ingots were converted into slabs by the day's end.
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Working a soderberg pot.
1927
In with the new, out with the old

In 1927, the original Hall pots begin being replaced with a new style, called a Soderberg pot. Three Soderberg lines would be installed in the South Plant. The last Hall pot would be replaced on February 4, 1952 after 38 years of service. The Soderberg pots would eventually be replaced in the late 1960s with a new P-225 type Pot design.
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Santeetlah Dam under construction in 1928.
Santeetlah Dam today, looking from above.
June 6, 1928
Santeetlah Dam completed

The second hydroelectric development built on the Little Tennessee watershed is completed June 6, 1928. The dam diverts additional water to Cheoah Dam and is located approximately 10 miles north of the first dam. The water from Santeetlah is used not only through its own head, but also through the other three powerhouses.
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Turbine construction at Calderwood Dam on January 8, 1929.
Calderwood Dam, the third dam on the Little Tennessee River.
April 19, 1930
Construction of Calderwood Dam completed

In 1928, the construction of Calderwood Dam. It was completed on April 19, 1930. The third of four dams, Calderwood is located nine miles downstream from Cheoah. In order to protect the powerhouse from falling rocks from a steep and rocky mountainside, a v-shaped reinforced concrete wall was built to deflect rather than stop the rocks.
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Tapoco Lodge, constructed in 1930.
A family enjoys dinner at Tapoco Lodge in 1955.
A dance hall was also available at Tapoco Lodge. Courtesy of Tapoco Lodge.
1930
Tapoco Lodge, Village house hundreds

In 1930, Tapoco Lodge was built for men working on Cheoah Dam. The lodge comprises two brick structures which were protected by an automatic sprinkler system and night watchmen. The lodge was situated in the middle of Tapoco Village and served more than 1,000 meals a week during the summer months. Over its history, the lodge has accommodated employees, managers and even movie stars! Today, Tapoco Lodge is home to an award winning, full service resort.
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Springbrook Pool on July 4, 1944. Courtesy of Hultquist family. Names unknown.
1930
Keeping employees working

After the stock market crash of 1929, unemployment would reach an all time high. In an effort to keep employees working and fed, Alcoa used workforce labor to improve the community. In addition to street paving and park improvements, Springbrook Pool was built. It opened in the summer of 1931. Improvements were also made to the area surrounding Cades Cove, which would later serve as a foundation for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Alcoa employees dedicated numerous volunteer hours to improving our community and beautifying the surrounding landscape, a tradition that continues to this day.
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Scona Lodge, built in 1934. Notice the iconic large wooden map of Tennessee displayed above the fireplace.
A pool was centrally located at Scona Lodge.
Scona Lodge also boasted a nine hole golf course on site for its visitors.
1934
Scona Lodge hosts first guests

Built in 1934 as a corporate retreat for top executives and guests of Alcoa, Scona Lodge was the perfect picture of a mountain resort. The Lodge could accommodate 12 people overnight in the main lodge and eight more in the cottage. Satellite television, fax machines and modern telephone equipment were all enticements for the corporate elite. Other amenities included a nine hole golf course, swimming pool and hiking trails. Scona Lodge was closed in October of 1990 and was eventually demolished to return the land to its natural habit.
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Workers after the strike of 1937 was ended. Courtesy of USW Local 309.
Photo of newspaper Knoxville Journal newspaper article – July 12, 1937. Courtesy of USW Local 309.
July 7, 1937
Strike leads to tragedy

Prior to 1933, employees at Alcoa Works had begun to warm to the idea of organizing a union. Several law cases and government legislation had increased the rights of organizing unions. After several wage reductions in the early 1930s, employees organized under the Aluminum Workers of America (AWA) Local 19104, an AFL union. In 1937, wage issues emerge again. Since northern plant workers made more than southern workers, a vote was taken to authorize a strike. On July 7, 1937, employee Henson Click and police officer Special Deputy William Hunt, were shot and killed. In addition, reports say up to 30 people were injured. To restore order, Tennessee State Governor Gordon Browning sent 300 National Guard troops to protect the plants. Normalcy returned five days later. The aftermath secured a stronger footing for organized labor, eventually leading to the founding of the current United Steelworkers Local 309.
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North Plant construction – June 12, 1941. Courtesy of Hultquist family.
As part of the recognition for the “Navy E” award, military officials toured the North Plant during initial production.
The Alcoa High School band plays during the “Navy E” award ceremony. Courtesy of Duggan collection.
1940 - 1942
North Plant construction and expansion

During World War II, demand for aluminum increased 600 percent. This led to a $300 million expansion for Alcoa. The construction of the North Plant began in 1940. Covering 65 acres, the facility would become the largest plant under one roof in the world. At its peak, the plant employed more than 12,000 people. Over the next several years, the military would consume 90 percent of Alcoa’s output. A significant moment in the history of the North Plant happens on May 14, 1942 when it is awarded the “Navy E” award for excellence in production.
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Berlin article. Courtesy of Hultquist collection.
June 27, 1942
FBI nips aluminum plant sabotage plot

Possible attempts to sabotage Aluminum Company operations in Tennessee, East St. Louis, and Massena were foiled by the FBI on June 27, 1942. Eight submarine-borne German agents were captured and their explosives and blood money seized. Their arrest confirmed the belief that aluminum plants would be targeted in order to hamper airplane production. As The Alcoa News concludes in its article... Keep your eyes open, your mouth shut and your boot ready!

Read the article from The Alcoa News.

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Alcoa Mayor O.W. Brumfiel, Maryville Mayor A.M. Gamble, State Engineer Merryman, V.J. Hulquist, and Maryville Commissioner E.C. Brown stand between the cities of Alcoa and Maryville.
October 28, 1946
Cooperation and good will merge two cities

On October 28, 1946, the cities of Alcoa and Maryville are connected with the opening of the Hall Road viaduct. The project improves traffic between the two cities and “allows for much closer relations with our good neighbor Maryville, from whom we have always received the utmost in cooperation and good fill”. Excerpt from a speech made to the Alcoa Rotary Club by Works Manager V.J. Hultquist.
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On the front page of the first Tennessee Alcoan, a photo of Jake Whitehead pays a new aluminum parking meter in Maryville.
Ted Tindell, editor of the Tennessee Alcoan from 1947 to 1974, retired in 1975.
May 1947
The Tennessee Alcoan begins publication

In May, 1947, editor Ted Tindell releases the first edition of the Tennessee Alcoan. Since the Aluminum Bulletin ended in December, 1920, a hard copy of events at Tennessee Operations was only available through The Alcoa News – a corporate newsletter that began on May 26, 1930. The Alcoan will provide news of interest to Alcoa employees until it’s final issue in 1975.

First Issue of Tennessee Alcoan

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T.I. Stephenson, W.F. Andrews and A.D. Huddleston stand by the aluminum and glass entrance of a new Blount Memorial Hospital.
July 24,1947
Giving back to a healthier community

During and after World War II, Blount County citizens began realizing the need for more advanced medical facilities to care for the increasing population in the area and for the soldiers who were returning home in need of medical treatment. In 1945, the federal government granted $200,000 to build a hospital in Blount County, but the county had to match that amount. Over several months, employees at Tennessee Operations embraced the drive to build a hospital and generously donated a portion of their pay to the building fund. In the end, Alcoa employees gave $100,000 for the hospital. A major influence in the development of the hospital, especially in acquiring government approval, was Public Relations Manager A.D. Huddleston. The hospital would officially open on July 24, 1947.
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Soderberg potlines eventually replace all Hall pots by 1952.
February 4, 1952
Last Line of old time Hall pots closed down

An event of historical significance occurred at Alcoa reduction division February 4, 1952, when the last line of the Hall-type pots was closed down after 38 years of rugged service. These veteran pots will have been replaced by more modern pots for the production of aluminum by this date, and by 1973, a third generation of pots will be born.
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Scholarship recipients from 2001: Ann Weisner, Andrew Trundle, Lindsey McCulloch. Not pictured - Erin Luptak.
1954 to present
Alcoa Sons and Daughters scholarships begin

In 1953, Alcoa began a college scholarship program offering 39 four year scholarships worth $2,000 each. At the time, scholarships were awarded based on the number of employees at each location. One scholarship was offered for locations with 2,000 or less employees. A committee was formed to determine each year’s winners. Since its inception, close to 4,000 students have been awarded the Alcoa Foundation Sons and Daughters Scholarship, totaling more than $19 million.
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Chilhowee Dam under construction. Courtesy of Garland family.
Chilhowee Dam today.
August 19, 1957
Construction of Chilhowee Dam is completed

Construction began on Chilhowee Dam, the last of the four hydro facilities, in July, 1955 and was completed on August 19, 1957. A significant amount of aluminum was used in the construction of this dam, giving it a different look than the other three structures. An aluminum panel covers the steel frame and the interior siding and roof deck are constructed from aluminum. In all, 137 tons of our favorite metal was used in the dam’s construction.
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T.I. Stephenson, Jr. (right) and Dr. V.F. Goddard (left) present the 1958 Alcoa Foundation scholarship to Andrew Lamar Alexander.
March 3, 1958
Lamar Alexander wins Alcoa scholarship

In 1958, three children of Alcoa employees were awarded the annual Alcoa Foundation college scholarship. One of those, Andrew Lamar Alexander, Jr., will go on to graduate from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and become the 45th Governor of Tennessee in 1979. In 1991, Mr. Alexander is appointed Secretary of Education and is elected U.S. Senator in 2002. Lamar’s father was A. L. Alexander, Sr., safety director for the Smelting division. The other two scholarship winners were Glenda Gray and Barry Roach.
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John D. Harper
April 1963
Alcoa Inc. names first southern president

A native of Louisville, Tennessee, and an electrical engineering graduate of the University of Tennessee, John D. Harper is named Alcoa President in 1963. Harper began his Alcoa career at Tennessee Operations in 1925 as a part-time employee. He subsequently served as an engineer, a works manager, and in major managerial posts in Pittsburgh prior to his election as a vice president in 1960. Harper gets a warm welcome home on July 27, 1963 as he parades through the community and visits with old friends and acquaintances.
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A Stroh’s can is displayed inside the plant.
1964
Aluminum beverage container debuts

In 1959, Coors made a huge stride for aluminum and began packaging its beer in the first two-piece seamless aluminum beverage container. Over the next decade, soft drinks would quickly adapt, with Royal Crown Cola (RC) introducing canned soda in 1964 and Coke and Pepsi in 1967. Aluminum cans quickly became more appealing when buy-back centers were introduced in the 1970s. Making aluminum can sheet from recycled containers, versus making it from raw material uses 95% less energy. Over the next 15 years, aluminum would displace all other packaging materials in the beverage container marketplace and 58% of all aluminum cans would be recycled in 1985. The emergence of both the aluminum can and its infinitely recyclable characteristics would be instrumental in the future of Tennessee Operations.
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New aluminum bleachers at Neyland Stadium in 1968.
Artist rendering of the World Trade Centers in 1968.
1968
Aluminum reaches new heights

Aluminum is quickly becoming a prominent building or construction material. In 1968, nine million pounds of aluminum will be used as sheet, extrusions and castings for wall and window construction in the World Trade Center towers, to be completed in 1972. Also, the Tennessee metal will be used to expand Neyland Stadium, home to University of Tennessee football, by more than 6,000 seats. After another 1,300 seat expansion later that year, the capacity is expanded to 60,597.
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New potlines are installed at Tennessee Operations beginning in the late 1960s. Pictured is Valerie Macnair and an unknown operator.
July 31, 1969
Smelting plant modernizes

On July 31, 1969, the modernization of Potline 1 is complete. Potline 1 is the world’s largest single primary aluminum producing facility and a second line, Potline 2, will come online at the beginning of 1973. The renovation expands the plant to a capacity of 469 million pounds of molten metal. In total, 8,000 megawatts of electricity is consumed daily by the facility, enough to power some cities for years. This third generation of production will continue at the South Plant until curtailment in 2009.
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Roy Howard receives his 50-Year Club certificate and congratulations from Operations Manager Bob Hornbeck.
April 18, 1973
50 Years at Tennessee

At the young age of 65, Roy Howard became the first Tennessee Alcoan to mark 50 years of service with the Company. At the time, only 38 employees at other locations had reached the milestone. As part of the celebration, Howard and his wife were flown to Alcoa’s Pittsburgh headquarters, stayed at the William Penn hotel, toured the 31-story office building and facilities, and met with (then) board member John Harper. Howard started working for the company in the Sheet Mill on April 18, 1923. There are currently 14 Tennessee Alcoans to have entered the 50-Year Club:

Eldie M. Hill (1984), William T. Garner (1985)
J. Paul Davis (1985), William L. Tipton (1987)
H. Dean (1989), James Davis (1991)
Clyde Tidwell (1991), Chas T. Carrigan (1991)
H. C. McCulley (1991), Heyward N. Hill (1991)
Don R. Matthews (1992), Sam H. Gaines Jr. (1992)
Bobby Melton (1996)

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Construction of the Can Reclamation facility in February, 1975.
August, 1974
Can Rec expansion begins at South Plant.

Construction begins on the Can Reclamation expansion at the South Plant in August of 1974. The unit will be housed in 45,000 square feet and is in operation the following year. The expansion of the reclamation facility is part of an expansion of the pre-heat furnaces at the North Plant. Six new furnaces are added to accommodate the largest ingots ever made at the facility.
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Exterior view of the West Plant before demolition.
August, 1977
West Plant modernizes to meet demand

A multi-million dollar expansion of the West Plant is announced in August of 1977. The two year renovation will add new handling equipment, modify the cold and finish rolling mills and add a pack-ship station. In an effort to meet the rising demand of aluminum can sheet, the newly built Can Reclamation facility also will double capacity to meet the nation’s increased interest in recycling aluminum cans.
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The first trial run of ingots using electro-magnetic casting at the South Plant. Names unknown.
August 22, 1983
New casting technology introduced at Tennessee Operations

The first ingots cast from computerized technology, called Electro-Magnetic Casting (EMC) were only 30-inches long, but a welcome and encouraging site. At the time, EMC was only used at a few aluminum plants in the world. The method, still in use today, casts an aluminum ingot without actually ever touching a mold. Instead, an electro-magnetic force field shapes and holds the metal until it can harden into a smooth, finished product. Today, ingots as long as 280 inches, weighing as much as 50,000 pounds, are cast with EMC technology.
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Aluminum beverage cans become the sole product of Tennessee Operations in the 1980s.
November 22, 1983
Tennessee Operations dedicates itself to one product

On November 22, 1983, company president Fred Fetteroff announces a $250 million investment to “make fabricating facilities competitive into the 21st century”. Included in the expansion is a $125 million new, multi-stand continuous cold mill at the North Plant, expected to be the first of its type anywhere in the industry. The project later expands to more than $300 million, as the Hot Line modernizes with a new 80” Mill, a second EMC casting pit is installed at South Ingot and computerization and quality innovations are made throughout the facility.
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Workers hoist the final “A” for the logo on the side of the new CCM tower. The letters are each 24 feet high.
Alcoa President Fred Fetterolf addresses a crowd before the start up of the Continuous Cold Mill on October 23, 1987.
October 23, 1987
Continuous Cold Mill dedicated

Tennessee State Governor Ned McWherter ceremoniously pushed the button to signal the start-up of the Continuous Cold Mill on October 23, 1987. The event marked a new era for Tennessee Operations, as more than 150 dignitaries attended the event, including Alcoa President Fred Ferrerolf. The “one of a kind” mill becomes the only fully continuous mill in the world, and does not stop between coil changes. After nearly four years of development, the facility becomes a one product operation, dedicating itself to can sheet production.
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An employee works at the Foil Mill in the West Plant.
Employees pose by the first auto sheet made off Unit #2 on April 27, 1931 at the West Plant.
West Plant employees receive a safety award in 1971.
On June 20, 2013, city and school officials break ground on a new high school for the City of Alcoa on the former West Plant property.
June 6, 1989
West Plant closes after 69 years of service

On Monday, June 12, 1989, after 69 years of operations, the West Plant (formerly known as the Sheet Mill) closed down. Products at the West Plant included Alcoa Wrap, bearing sheet, venetian blinds, airplane sheet, foil and more. The West Plant had been awarded two National Safety Council awards in 1988 and many outstanding department records were set during its operation.

The West Plant property is currently being redeveloped with the first occupants being a new City of Alcoa high school.

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One of five 110 ton mill housings are moved into place.
The new Hot Line 80” Mill is contained by a fume exhaust system.
November 5, 1990
First coil runs through new 80” Mill

At 10 p.m. on Monday, November 5, 1990, the first coil traveled through the new 80” Mill at the Hot Line. Although it took three times to get the exit correct, the performed to expectation. It took 52 days, six hours and five minutes (short of the 53 day deadline) to remove the old mill installed in 1941 and get the new mill operating. The new mill consists of five stand housings, each weighing 110 tons. The mill can run at speeds of 1,200 feet per minute and is enclosed with a fume exhaust system.
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City of Alcoa Mayor Don Mull cuts the ribbon to dedicate the Greenway Trail that runs through property donated by Tennessee Operations.
June, 1993
Greenway property dedicated

In June, 1997, just over one mile of new hiking and biking trails are dedicated in the City of Alcoa. The new portion of the Greenway is the first to run through company property and link the City of Alcoa to the City of Maryville, completing more than 10 miles of new path. At present, the trail is more than 20 miles long and is an attractive spot for leisure strolling, jogging, biking and nature exploration.
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Employees begin wearing boots with metatarsal guards in 1998.
March 31, 1998
Safety program takes step forward

Metatarsal shoes are required by all employees beginning March 31, 1998. Bringing safety to the forefront, the new shoe program is developed to provide foot and toe protection on the job. Prior to this time, steel toed boots (introduced by the National Safety Council in the 1930s) had been required at Tennessee Operations. As design and comfort have improved, most of today’s metatarsals are internal and even more effective. Internal guards were required in 2008.
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In November 2001, members of the first Community Advisory Board toured the CCM.
In 2001, CAB members visited the new Blount County library as part of a $50,000 Alcoa Foundation grant to complete the facility.
February 2, 2001
Philanthropic “think tank” forms

Composed of representatives from Knox and Blount county business, education and community organizations, the Community Advisory Board is formed as a philanthropic "think-tank," to stay in touch with needs in the East Tennessee area. The CAB, the first of its kind anywhere in the Alcoa system, reviews Alcoa Foundation grant applications and other giving opportunities and brings to Alcoa’s attention other philanthropic needs in the community.
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An employee performs work using the new orange high visibility hard hat.
January 1, 2002
Sporting a new kind of orange hat

Since the 1930s, employees had been wearing hard hats as required by the National Safety Council. In 2002, all Tennessee Operations’ employees sport a new orange, hi-visibility hardhat. The hi-visibility hats provide an additional layer of protection to employees in the facility. This extra visibility is beneficial for mobile equipment operators who must be able to see pedestrians. Since 2000, all safety initiatives have reduced the number of injuries by 44%.
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In honor of the agreement, an orphaned bear cub is released into the wilderness.
May 10, 2004
Alcoa and partners preserve 10,000 acres

On May 10, 2004, Alcoa Power Generating Incorporated and more than 20 national and local environmental and regulatory groups came together for an historic signing ceremony that marked an agreement to preserve more than 10,000 acres of pristine land. The agreement included a land exchange and conservation agreement between APGI, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the U.S. Forest Service and the Nature Conservancy and is a result of discussions to secure a 40 year regulatory license for the four hydro-electric facilities.
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To honor Tiger, a road is named Route 66 at the North Plant.
May 16, 2007
Longest tenured Alcoan honored

After 66 years with Alcoa, Clyde “Tiger” Tidwell retired from the Company on May 16, 2007. Tiger began his career at the West Plant, served in the 82nd Airborne during World War II and returned to Alcoa to eventually finish his career as a mechanic. Tiger passed away in February 2009.
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On September 17, 2007, officials break ground at the location of the new pusher preheat furnaces.
On December 6, 2007, aluminum shreds are used to break ground on a new Can Rec expansion.
An ingot rolls to the Hot Line in front of “Pusher 1”.
On March 26, 2010, a dedication ceremony is held to officially start the recycling expansion.
March 1, 2007
$75 million capital expansion begins

In March, 2007, a vote of confidence was given to Tennessee Operations, as Alcoa announced a $75 million capital expansion program. Included in the development is a new crusher and delaquering furnace for Can Reclamation, a fume exhaust system for two mills in the Hot Line and two new state of the art pusher furnaces. The Can Reclamation equipment will increase the plant’s recycling capacity by 50% and the new pusher furnaces will reduce natural gas usage by 70%. The two new fume exhaust systems will dramatically improve the environment in the Hot Line.
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Pre-task briefs are an important part of Human Performance.
May 12, 2008
Human Performance safely starts

In 2008, Tennessee started a new safety program - Human Performance (HP). Human Performance recognizes error likely situations through performance modes and error traps and utilizes tools that to reduce the error rate. HP also looks at the overall system and how it influences the employee and how he/she influences the system. Since HP was implemented, Tennessee’s recordable injury rate has decreased 51% from 3.11 (2008) to 1.51 (2012). HP has been an integral piece of this reduction.
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In late 2008, repair of Chilhowee Dam is near completion.
September 2, 2008
Chilhowee lowered to repair settlement

Beginning September 2, 2008, Alcoa Power Generating Inc., Tapoco Division, lowers the water level of Chilhowee Reservoir to repair a settlement on the south embankment of Chilhowee Dam. The reservoir is lowered one to two feet per day until the water level reaches a maximum drawdown of about 20 to 25 feet. APGI take advantage of the drawdown to install artificial fish attractors to improve aquatic habitat. Repairs are complete by mid-2009.
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Employees stand in front of the last crucible tapped from the Potrooms on March 16, 2009.
March 16, 2009
Tennessee Smelter curtailed

At 11:01 a.m. on Monday, March 16, 2009, the power is turned off to Line 1 and the Tennessee Smelter is officially curtailed. Later that afternoon, the last crucible of metal was tapped from Pot 275 in Room 2. Employees in the Potrooms took time to pose for a picture by the last crucible for a keepsake of the event, as the day is filled with mixed emotions. After nearly three years of curtailment, the decision is made to permanently close the South Plant smelter operations on January 1, 2012. The facility was originally called the Reduction Plant and began operation on March 6, 1914.
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Dean Stone, seated, presents Snapshots with Joe Dawson, former Blount Memorial Hospital administrator and Tennessee Operations Location Manager Ken McMillen.
Dean Stone (left) and son Neal conduct research for Snapshots at Calderwood Dam in 2010.
December 10, 2010
Snapshots of history donated to libraries

In late 2010, Alcoa Tennessee Operations made a gift of the complete set of Snapshots of Blount County History to each school library and public library in Blount County. The series, written by The Daily Times editor and local historian Dean Stone, takes local residents on a tour of Blount County history. The sixth volume focuses on Alcoa’s 100 years in the area and has served as research information for much of this timeline. Alcoa in 2012 also donated a new volume, the history of Blount Memorial Hospital, to local libraries.
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Employees stand in front of Pusher furnace #2.
July 11, 2011
South Pusher furnace comes online

The second Pusher furnace begins production on July 11, 2011, completing the major $75 million expansion announced in 2007. The implementation of the second pusher provides energy and efficiency cost savings of more than $6 million per year and has a huge impact on quality, recovery and run rates at the Hot Line.
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Cheoah Dam as it looks today.
November 15, 2012
Hydro facilities sold to Brookfield

Alcoa announces the sale of its 378-megawatt Tapoco Hydroelectric Project to Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners on November 15, 2012. The transaction includes four generating stations and dams, 86 miles of transmission line, and about 14,500 acres of land. Tapoco was originally named after the Tallassee Power Company.
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Dick Ray (right) is inducted, along with Lamar Alexander, into the inaugural class of the Blount County Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of The Daily Times.
February 19, 2013
Ray inducted into county Hall of Fame

Former Operations Manager and long time community supporter Dick Ray was inducted into the inaugural class of the Blount County Hall of Fame on February 19, 2013. Dick Ray retired as Operations Manager of the Tennessee location on January 1, 1993. Dick was instrumental in the decision to modernize in the late 1980s - investing close to $400 million in expansion. He started his career in 1953 as a metallurgist with Tennessee, held management positions at Davenport, Pittsburgh and in Australia before returning to Tennessee to become Operations Manager. Dick retired with 40 years of service and to this day, still volunteers in the community and dedicates time to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, among other organizations. The second inductee was also announced – U.S. Senator and former Alcoa Foundation Sons and Daughters scholarship winner Lamar Alexander.
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Senator Doug Overbey (left) presents 100 year proclamation to Tennessee Operations Location Manager Ken McMillen.
April 1, 2013
Recognized for 100 years

State Senator Doug Overbey and State Representative Art Swann present Tennessee Operations with a Senate Joint Resolution in celebration of the location’s 100-year anniversary on April 1, 2013. A week later, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam presents a proclamation honoring the Company’s concurrent 125 year anniversary.
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Members of the community pose for a picture at the expansion press conference.
Tennessee Operations Location Manager Ken McMillen announces the $275M automotive expansion.
May 2, 2013
A great day for Tennessee

On May 2, 2013, Alcoa announces a second major North American expansion of $275 million at Tennessee Operations to meet the growing demand for light, durable and recyclable aluminum sheet for automotive production. The investment will propel Tennessee Operations into the future, adding 200 permanent, full time jobs when it is completed in 2015. Included in the expansion is automation equipment for North Ingot, horse power upgrades to the Hot Line, and a new Cold Mill and continuous heat treat furnace.
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Participants prepared to kick off the groundbreaking of seven Habitat for Humanity homes with the hammering of 100 nails.
Deborah Henry and her family will receive one of the seven Habitat homes.
June 5, 2013
Centennial anniversary kicks off

On June 5, 2013, Alcoa Tennessee Operations kicked off its 100-year anniversary with the groundbreaking and blessing of seven new Blount County Habitat for Humanity homes. The seven sites are located in the historic Hall community in Alcoa. To mark the momentous occasion, guests of the ceremony hammered 100 nails into header boards to signify 100 years in this community and to also celebrate a new beginning for seven families.
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The $275M autotmotive project is marked with a ceremonial breaking of ground. Representing multi-generational families are Josh Gourley (far left) and Eric Everett (far right).
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam thanks Alcoa for making the $275M automotive investment at Tennessee and it's committment to the future.
Alcoa President and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld congratulates Leonard Ware for celebrating his 100th birthday and 41 years of service to Alcoa. Mr. Ware joined the West Plant in 1936.
August 29, 2013
Automotive breaks ground

On August 29, 2013, Alcoa officially broke ground on its $275M automotive expansion at Tennessee Operations which will add jobs, meet the growing demand for the automotive market and secure Alcoa’s proud history in East Tennessee for the next 100 years. The $275M expansion will create an additional 200 full time jobs at Tennessee Operations upon completion in mid 2015.

In celebration of the expansion and acknowledgement of 100 years of operation in East Tennessee, Alcoa multi-generational families were also recognized as part of the ceremony.

Read the press release.

View the photos.

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Mayor Taylor proclaims Alcoa Centennial Day on October 13.
October 13, 2013
Alcoa Centennial Day

In recognition of Tennessee Operations’ centennial anniversary, the City of Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor presents a city proclamation to Alcoa Tennessee Operatoins Location Manager Ken McMillen declaring October 13 as Alcoa Centennial Day during the 2013 Foothills Fall Festival.
Alcoa's 125 Years

Scroll through and click on dates to see photos and explore 100 years of smelting, fabricating and recycling aluminum in East Tennessee.
Please contact us to share your story or photos and be part of our history.

February 23, 1886
Charles M. Hall discovers new aluminum production process
October 1, 1888
Alcoa’s journey begins
January 1, 1907
Renamed Aluminum Company of America
September 13, 1910
Land purchased for new hydro electric development
June 18, 1913
Company buys land in Blount County
March 6, 1914
First pot starts at Aluminum Company of America Alcoa Works
1916
Education key to successful development
August, 1917
Hultquist transfers to Alcoa Works
1917
Townsite construction begins
October 1918
Let’s Win the War!
April 13, 1919
Power sent to Alcoa Works in Maryville
July 1, 1919
Incorporated by “sleight of hand”
August 16, 1920
First sheet of aluminum rolls off the West Plant “Sheet Mill”
1927
In with the new, out with the old
June 6, 1928
Santeetlah Dam completed
April 19, 1930
Construction of Calderwood Dam completed
1930
Tapoco Lodge, Village house hundreds
1930
Keeping employees working
1934
Scona Lodge hosts first guests
July 7, 1937
Strike leads to tragedy
1940 - 1942
North Plant construction and expansion
June 27, 1942
FBI nips aluminum plant sabotage plot
October 28, 1946
Cooperation and good will merge two cities
May 1947
The Tennessee Alcoan begins publication
July 24,1947
Giving back to a healthier community
February 4, 1952
Last Line of old time Hall pots closed down
1954 to present
Alcoa Sons and Daughters scholarships begin
August 19, 1957
Construction of Chilhowee Dam is completed
March 3, 1958
Lamar Alexander wins Alcoa scholarship
April 1963
Alcoa Inc. names first southern president
1964
Aluminum beverage container debuts
1968
Aluminum reaches new heights
July 31, 1969
Smelting plant modernizes
April 18, 1973
50 Years at Tennessee
August, 1974
Can Rec expansion begins at South Plant.
August, 1977
West Plant modernizes to meet demand
August 22, 1983
New casting technology introduced at Tennessee Operations
November 22, 1983
Tennessee Operations dedicates itself to one product
October 23, 1987
Continuous Cold Mill dedicated
June 6, 1989
West Plant closes after 69 years of service
November 5, 1990
First coil runs through new 80” Mill
June, 1993
Greenway property dedicated
March 31, 1998
Safety program takes step forward
February 2, 2001
Philanthropic “think tank” forms
January 1, 2002
Sporting a new kind of orange hat
May 10, 2004
Alcoa and partners preserve 10,000 acres
May 16, 2007
Longest tenured Alcoan honored
March 1, 2007
$75 million capital expansion begins
May 12, 2008
Human Performance safely starts
September 2, 2008
Chilhowee lowered to repair settlement
March 16, 2009
Tennessee Smelter curtailed
December 10, 2010
Snapshots of history donated to libraries
July 11, 2011
South Pusher furnace comes online
November 15, 2012
Hydro facilities sold to Brookfield
February 19, 2013
Ray inducted into county Hall of Fame
April 1, 2013
Recognized for 100 years
May 2, 2013
A great day for Tennessee
June 5, 2013
Centennial anniversary kicks off
August 29, 2013
Automotive breaks ground
October 13, 2013
Alcoa Centennial Day
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