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Arthur Armour

Lived 1908-1998

Arthur Armour earned a degree in architecture from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1931. He joined the Wendell August Forge in 1932 as a designer. After six months with the Forge, Arthur left and began his own decorative aluminum business.

Arthur Armour, a talented artist, began his hand wrought aluminum business in 1933 in Grove City, Pennsylvania, creating decorative aluminum plates. Utilizing steel dies, aluminum became his canvas for well executed drawings and designs.

In the mid 1950s when business was lagging, Arthur Armour changes the appearance of his work by having the pieces anodized gold. This made his aluminum creations different from that of any other creator.

 

 

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ALUMINUM AND ARTHUR ARMOUR

A History

1886 – Charles Martin Hall, a professor at Oberlin College in OH, successfully smelts Aluminum with Electrolysis.

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1908 – Arthur Armour is born to TF Armour near Conneaut Lake, PA

1929 - The Great Depression strikes causing economic hardship for over 10 years.

1932 - Wendall August Forge Moves to Grove City from Brookville, PA.

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1936 - Nineteen Thirty Six was a major turning point in the lives of Arthur and Marian. They were married by Rev. Robert Atwell on Saturday evening, June 6.

1941 - On Sunday afternoon, December 7 while sitting in an armchair inside their cabin, Arthur turned on his battery powered radio to listen to the shocking account of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

1950 – Developed a process to anodize trays in gold color to stay ahead of the competition.

1984 – Marian Armour dies at the age of 76

1991 – Arthur Armour, at the age of 81, marries lifelong friend, Elizabeth Atwell.

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1937 was the busiest and most profitable year in the history of Arthur Armour Aluminum even though the bottom dropped out of the American economy.

1943-45 Arthur found work providing documentation for an archetectural company that was commissioned to build camp Reynolds in Transfer, PA. On weekends, he continued to develop ideas for his hammered aluminium business. 

1807 - Aluminum is identified as a new metal by Cornish chemist, Humphry Davy 

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1900 - Alcoa – The Aluminum Company of America is started in Pittsburgh, PA

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1920’s Wendall August Forge in Brockway, PA, is involved in the making of the gates for Alcoa’s new research facility. Natale Rossi and others decide to use utilize Repouse’ process of hammering Aluminum over forged iron shapes. Hammered aluminum is born. Natale Rossi further develops the process of hammering aluminum into carved dies for giftware.

1925 – 1927 Arthur Attended Grove City College

1931 – Completed his Architectural Degree at Carnegie Tech.

1927 - Transferred to Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh to study Archetecture.

October 1932 Arthur found work as a designer at the new company of Wendell August Aluminum for $25.00 a week. Arthur designed a number of architectural and gift items but after about 6 months was laid off.

1933 - Out of a job Arthur decided to start his own business. Borrowing $300.00 from his mother (the only money he ever borrowed) he purchased tools, a block of steel to cut a die and aluminum to fabricate some sample trays. He cut the die and made the trays on the back porch of his parents’ home at 328 College Avenue.

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1938 - A spectacular cabin site was purchased beside a waterfall and pool. Arthur was thrilled to utilize his architectural skill to design a cozy cabin.

In 1942 Arthur Armour Aluminum collapsed. As the United States mobilized for war, The government confiscated Arthur’s stock of aluminum paying only scrap price for the metal. The military desperately needed aluminum to build airplanes.

1976 – In August, Arthur Armour Aluminum closed formal business. The calendar on the wall immortalizes this milestone while his sundial design exemplifies his optimistic spirit.

1998 – Arthur Armour dies at the age of 89.

Click to Read:

COPING WITH THE DEPRESSION

Good things can come out of difficulties 1929 – 1942

Article Written by David Armour - Arthur's oldest son.

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Click to Read:

A CHILDHOOD IN THE EARLY 1900s

Arthur Armour's Childhood, in his own words

Recorded by Tom Armour - Edited by Mark Armour

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