Paul Louis Toussaint Héroult (1863-1914)

French metallurgist, was born in Harcourt, in April 10th 1863 and died aboard his yacht in the Mediterranean, close to Antibes, in May 9th 1914.

Héroult spent his childhood in England but studied in Paris in the School of Mines. In 1886, he invented an electrolytic process for producing aluminum starting from bauxite. This process was announced just three months after the American Charles Martin Hall had registered the patent of an identical process. Both youngsters were 22 years old. This process was one of the first commercial applications of the electrical furnace, and led to the price reduction aluminum from 8 dollars to 53 cents. Héroult is also known by the invention of the electrical furnace for the production of steel.