The mass production of hand-wrought aluminum decorative accessories is indebted to the inventiveness of Charles M. Hall and Paul T. Heroult. Hall, of the United States and Heroult, in France, working independently, simultaneously discovered an inexpensive electrolytic reduction process in 1886. Soon after, the price of aluminum dropped from $545 per pound to 57¢ per pound.
Aluminum ware’s popularity thrived throughout the lean Depression years and into the first years of World War II, when aluminum shortages caused many factories to close. Some resumed production after the war; however, most pieces no longer originated with the artistic craftsman—the Machine Age had arrived. By the late 1960s, decorative aluminum was no longer in fashion.
References: Dannie Woodard and Billie Wood, “Hammered Aluminum: Hand-Wrought Collectibles,” published by authors, 1983, 1990 value update; Dannie A. Woodard, “Hammered Aluminum Hand-Wrought Collectibles, Book Two,” Aluminum Collectors’ Books, 1993.
by Harry L. Rinker
“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”