Charles Martin Hall (1863-1914)


American metallurgist, was born in Thompson, Ohio, in December 6th 1863, and died in Daytona, Florida, in December 27th 1914.

In his student times, in the Oberlin College, was interested in research with aluminum, a rare metal at the time and with no industrial applications. Hall felt that it would be possible through an electrolytic method to produce great amounts at low cost.

His experimental results were so promising that his father equipped a small workshop so that he could continue his research. In February 23rd, 1886, less than one year after its graduation, made the first "nuggets" of aluminum, through the electrolysis of a bauxite solution, in a melted salt. In spite of his successes, he was not able to call the attention for this new and cheap metal. Finally, in 1888, Hall established contacts with the Reduction Company of Pittsburgh that would be transformed in the Aluminum Company America. Hall was vice-president of this company until his death.

The method was discovered, almost at the same time, by a young French metallurgist called Paul Louis Toussaint Héroult, that developed a more efficient electrical furnace than that of Hall. These two youngsters became friends, and together improved the process now known as Hall-Héroult, in which the modern industry of aluminum is based.

Hall won the Perkin medal for his discoveries in Applied Chemistry.