Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,364 pages of information and 245,906 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide

1902 Founded as Northern Aluminum Company, the Canadian subsidiary of the Pittsburgh Reduction Co (later Alcoa).

1909 The Northern Aluminium Co was incorporated as the UK sales organisation for fabricated products of the Canadian parent company, Northern Aluminium of Montreal[1]

1925 The Canadian Northern Aluminum Company was renamed Aluminum Company of Canada

1928 Aluminum Company of Canada was separated from Alcoa.

1944 Alcan London was incorporated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alcan Montreal[2]

1949 Northern Aluminium Co installed a continuous strip-rolling mill at Rogerstone, Monmouthshire[3]

1954 The main subsidiary of Canadian company Aluminium Ltd was the Aluminum Company of Canada[4]

1959 Aluminium Ltd renamed its businesses as Alcan[5]

1960 Alcan (U.K) Ltd succeeded Aluminium Union Ltd as UK distributors of Alcan aluminium; the Board of Trade sold its aluminium stockpile to Alcan (U.K.)[6]

1960 The name of subsidiary Northern Aluminium Co was changed to Alcan Industries (or Alindustries)[7].

1960 Aluminium Ltd formed joint venture with Enfield Rolling Mills to acquire the secondary smelter in Bradford then operated by Enfield Rolling Mills (Aluminium) Ltd; the JV was called Alcan Enfield Alloys Ltd. The alloys would be marketed by Alcan (UK) Ltd[8]

1961 Metal Closures Group leased the John Dale smelter to Alcan on a 10-year lease with option to purchase at the end[9]

1964 Acquired Fisher's Foils[10]

1965 Alcan Ltd acquired 25 percent interest in Unidare, which manufactured electrical cable and a wide range of equipment from aluminium and copper[11]

1965 Alcan and Pillar Holdings jointly acquired the share capital of Aston Stedall Aluminium Warehouses not previously owned by Pillar[12] and Polyfoil Papers[13]

1965 Formation of a joint venture between Pillar Holdings and Alcan Industries, called Architectural Aluminium, to exploit the use of aluminium in buildings in the UK; Pillar transferred to the new company its holdings in several companies[14]

1967 Alcan Aluminium of Montreal transferred its 3 British subsidiary companies into a new holding company Alcan Aluminium (UK) Ltd[15] which owned Alcan London.

1968 Started construction of a primary aluminium smelter at Lynemouth, Northumberland, stimulated by government funding[16]; this included a dedicated power station Lynemouth Power Station

1969 The UK operations were[17]:

1970 Alcan Booth Industries acquired 25 percent of Thomas Bennett of Leeds, glass merchants and makers of aluminium shop front systems and laminated glass[18]

1971 The Lynmouth smelter, which had been much delayed, started production

1974 The capacity of the Lynmouth smelter was reduced by 80% to 100,000 tons due to the introduction of the 3-day week and power restrictions.[19]

1974 Alcan decided to build a bauxite reduction plant in Ireland where the workforce will total 800.[20]

c.1976 Alcan Aluminium acquired Thomas Bennett (of Leeds), glass makers as its first diversification move away from metals.

1978 New factory to make bullet-resistant safety glass in Leeds.[21]

1982 The Canadian-owned Alcan Aluminium UK Ltd acquired British Aluminium Co, the resultant new company being called British Alcan Ltd.

2000 algroup became a subsidiary of Alcan

2001 Alcan Aluminium Limited was renamed Alcan Inc.

2003 Alcan acquired Pechiney of France and other companies.

2010 Became part of RioTinto.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jun 10, 1969
  2. The Times, Jun 10, 1969
  3. The Times, Oct 07, 1960
  4. The Times, Jan 12, 1954
  5. The Times, Oct 02, 1959
  6. The Times, Mar 03, 1960
  7. The Times, Sep 15, 1960
  8. The Times, Jun 20, 1960
  9. The Times, Apr 25, 1961
  10. The Times, Oct 15, 1964
  11. The Times, Mar 09, 1965
  12. The Times, Apr 06, 1965
  13. The Times, May 20, 1965
  14. The Times, Jul 27, 1965
  15. The Times, Jun 19, 1967
  16. The Times, Nov 05, 1970
  17. The Times, Jun 10, 1969
  18. The Times, Jul 21, 1970
  19. The Engineer 1974/01/03 and 1974/01/10/
  20. Engineer 1974/02/21
  21. The Engineer 1978
  • RioTintoAlcan website [1]