Julia Brainerd Hall
Julia Brainerd Hall, 1881, Oberlin College Senior Year Portrait
|Born||November 11, 1859|
|Died||September 4, 1926 (aged 66)|
Rochester, New York, USA
|Alma mater||Oberlin College|
Julia Brainerd Hall (November 11, 1859 – September 4, 1926)was the sister of American scientist Charles Martin Hall. She supported him in his discovery of the Hall process for extracting aluminium from its ore. She was also a still-life painter, who exhibited at the Edgar Adams Gallery in Cleveland.
Julia was born on November 11, 1859, to Reverend Heman Bassett Hall (1823-1911) and his wife Sophronia Brooks Hall (1827-1885), missionaries in Jamaica.In 1860, the family returned to the United States. Julia's younger brother, Charles Martin Hall, was born in 1863 in Thompson, Geauga County, Ohio. In 1873, the family moved to Oberlin, Ohio, where Heman Hall and Sophronia Brooks had attended Oberlin College.
Julia was one of eight children. With the exception of a brother (Lewis Albert) who died young,all obtained degrees from Oberlin College. Her eldest brother, George Edward Hall (February 23, 1851, Jamaica - August 29, 1921, Pasadena, CA) became a minister. Her older sister Ellen Julia Hall-Kinsey (Mrs. George M. Kinsey, 1852 - May 17, 1882) studied medicine at the University of Wooster (she was a senior in the class of 1881) and in Vienna, Austria. Her sister Emily Brooks Hall and Emily's husband Martin Luther Stimson (1857 - 1943) became missionaries in China.
Julia Brainerd Hall is listed as a student in the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College in the 1876–77 and 1877-78 catalogues. 277–278 The "Literary" course had replaced the "Ladies" course as of July 30, 1875. :48 Such educational tracking was usual for women attending Oberlin at the time. One of the classes she took was chemistry, which was taught by William Kedzie in 1879-1880 for only one term prior to his unexpected death, rather than the usual two terms. :6She is listed as a second year student in the "Literary" course at Oberlin as of 1878, and graduated in the Literary course in 1881. :
Some time before her invalid mother's death in 1885, Julia took over running the household and raising her two younger sisters, Edith May Hall (later Mrs. George H. Seymour, 1865-1937) and Louie Alice Hall (1870 - 1944).
Julia's brother Charles also attended Oberlin, matriculating in 1880 and graduating in 1885. 288 Upon entering college, he approached the new professor of chemistry, Frank Fanning Jewett, to purchase some laboratory equipment. :10–11 Charles Hall attended Jewett's chemistry course during his junior year, 1883-1884, and conducted research in Jewett's laboratory. :10–11 Long before he graduated, Charles had set up a laboratory in a woodshed attached to the family home at 64 East College Street in Oberlin, Ohio. :10–11:
There he researched the production of aluminum by electrolysis, ultimately obtaining a family of patents on April 2, 1889. °C on February 9, 1886, demonstrating the process for his sisters and his father the next day after Julia returned from a visit to Cleveland. After further experiments and the addition of aluminum fluoride, Hall was successful in preparing aluminum metal by electrolysis. On February 23, 1886, breaking open a clay crucible lined with graphite, he found silvery aluminum pellets inside. Charles Hall took the metal to Frank Jewett for confirmation of the discovery.Charles was successful in a breakthrough experiment of dissolving alumina in molten cryolite at 1000
Whether Charles Martin Hall or French chemist Paul Héroult should be awarded U.S. patent rights was the subject of an important Interference proceeding, decided on October 24, 1887.While Héroult had filed his U.S. patent application a few months earlier than Hall, the patent examiner concluded that Hall had discovered the process before Héroult applied for the patent in April 1886. The witnesses for Hall were Charles Hall, Heman Hall, Frank Jewett, another professor, and Julia. Julia testified before the patent examiner that her brother had demonstrated the process successfully in front of her. She had also prepared an account of the History of C. M. Hall's aluminum invention "relying on my memory alone", which was not included in the official U S. record of the patent interference proceedings. Two postmarked letters from Charles Hall to his brother George that described the invention in detail were included as important evidence establishing the timing of Hall's discovery.
The extent to which Julia Brainerd Hall was involved day-to-day in her brother's research and the discovery of the Hall process has been disputed. Her obituary in the Oberlin News, September 30, 1926, stated that "She was a sister of Charles M. Hall and the one who gave him help and encouragement in his work on aluminum."Early accounts by Alcoa company employees, Charles Carr's An American Enterprise (1952) and Junius Edwards' The Immortal Woodshed (1955) portray her as involved in Hall's home laboratory. However, they have been described as "celebratory" and lacking objectivity, and criticized for lacking footnotes and bibliographic information. Martha Trescott draws on these accounts when she makes a case for Julia's close involvement in Charles' laboratory. She argues that the written account that Julia Hall prepared for the patent examiner, and her annotations of Charles Hall's papers, are evidence of her close involvement in the scientific work. Subsequent authors have relied on her accounts.
More recently, Norman Craig has examined the Oberlin archive's papers and draws different conclusions. He notes that Julia Hall's annotations of the family letters involve replacement of names with initials, and removal of information about the family's financial circumstances, rather than the removal of technical information. Based on the handwriting and references to Charles, he concludes that the annotations were likely made after Charles' death in December 1914. They suggest a review of the papers with a view to publication of a biography. Craig also notes that Charles wrote to various family members about his work, not just Julia, and that he demonstrated his results to his father and younger sisters as well as to Julia. Craig presents the image of a supportive, close-knit, intelligent family, interested in each other's work, rather than a brother-sister research and development team.
Development of the Hall process and its scaling up for industrial use continued over several years, but eventually the Hall process brought the cost of aluminum down from $12.00 per pound to $.30 per pound.
In 1901, Charles Hall had a house built for his sisters, Julia, Louie and Edith, at 280 Elm St. in Oberlin, known as the "Hall Sisters House".The original family home on East College Street is now "Hall House", property of Oberlin College. Charles died in 1914.
Julia Brainerd Hall moved to Rochester, New York as of 1917.She died on Saturday, September 4, 1926, at the home that she shared with her sister, Louie Alice Hall, at 1422 Highland Avenue, Rochester, New York. She was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.
Aluminium is a chemical element with the symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, non-magnetic and ductile metal in the boron group. By mass, aluminium makes up about 8% of the Earth's crust, where it is the third most abundant element and also the most abundant metal. Occurrence of aluminium decreases in the Earth's mantle below, however. The chief ore of aluminium is bauxite. Aluminium metal is highly reactive, such that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.
Bauxite is a sedimentary rock with a relatively high aluminium content. It is the world's main source of aluminium and gallium. Bauxite consists mostly of the aluminium minerals gibbsite (Al(OH)3), boehmite (γ-AlO(OH)) and diaspore (α-AlO(OH)), mixed with the two iron oxides goethite (FeO(OH)) and haematite (Fe2O3), the aluminium clay mineral kaolinite (Al2Si2O5(OH)) and small amounts of anatase (TiO2) and ilmenite (FeTiO3 or FeO.TiO2).
Electrochemistry is the branch of physical chemistry that studies the relationship between electricity, as a measurable and quantitative phenomenon, and identifiable chemical change, with either electricity considered an outcome of a particular chemical change or vice versa. These reactions involve electric charges moving between electrodes and an electrolyte. Thus electrochemistry deals with the interaction between electrical energy and chemical change.
Paul (Louis-Toussaint) Héroult was a French scientist. He was the inventor of the aluminium electrolysis and developed the first successful commercial electric arc furnace. He lived in Thury-Harcourt, Normandy.
In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a technique that uses direct electric current (DC) to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction. Electrolysis is commercially important as a stage in the separation of elements from naturally occurring sources such as ores using an electrolytic cell. The voltage that is needed for electrolysis to occur is called the decomposition potential.
Oberlin is a city in Lorain County, Ohio, United States, southwest of Cleveland. Oberlin is the home of Oberlin College, a liberal arts college and music conservatory with approximately 3,000 students.
The Hall–Héroult process is the major industrial process for smelting aluminium. It involves dissolving aluminium oxide (alumina) in molten cryolite, and electrolysing the molten salt bath, typically in a purpose-built cell. The Hall–Héroult process applied at industrial scale happens at 940–980 °C and produces 99.5–99.8% pure aluminium. Recycled aluminum requires no electrolysis, thus it does not end up in this process.
The Bayer process is the principal industrial means of refining bauxite to produce alumina (aluminium oxide) and was developed by Carl Josef Bayer. Bauxite, the most important ore of aluminium, contains only 30–60% aluminium oxide (Al2O3), the rest being a mixture of silica, various iron oxides, and titanium dioxide. The aluminium oxide must be purified before it can be refined to aluminium metal.
The year 1886 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.
Charles Martin Hall was an American inventor, businessman, and chemist. He is best known for his invention in 1886 of an inexpensive method for producing aluminum, which became the first metal to attain widespread use since the prehistoric discovery of iron. He was one of the founders of Alcoa. Alfred E. Hunt, together with Charles Hall and a group of five other individuals – his partner at the Pittsburgh Testing Laboratory, George Hubbard Clapp; his chief chemist, W. S. Sample; Howard Lash, head of the Carbon Steel Company; Millard Hunsiker, sales manager for the Carbon Steel Company; and Robert Scott, a mill superintendent for the Carnegie Steel Company – raised $20,000 to launch the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, which was later renamed Aluminum Company of America and shortened to Alcoa.
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Carl Josef Bayer was an Austrian chemist who invented the Bayer process of extracting alumina from bauxite, essential to this day to the economical production of aluminium.
Aluminum carbide, chemical formula Al4C3, is a carbide of aluminum. It has the appearance of pale yellow to brown crystals. It is stable up to 1400 °C. It decomposes in water with the production of methane.
Oberlin High School is a public high school located in Oberlin, Ohio. It is the only high school in the Oberlin City Schools district.
Alfred Ephraim Hunt was a 19th-century American metallurgist and industrialist best known for founding the company that would eventually become Alcoa, the world's largest producer and distributor of aluminum.
The Oberlin Heritage Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, governed by an 18-member Board of Trustees. The organization is funded by memberships, annual fund contributions, investments, grants, fund-raising projects and planned gifts. Over 700 members hail from Oberlin and elsewhere in Lorain County, as well as from across the country.
The Electric Smelting and Aluminum Company, founded as Cowles Electric Smelting and Aluminum Company, and Cowles Syndicate Company, Limited, formed in the United States and England during the mid-1880s to extract and supply valuable metals. Founded by two brothers from Ohio, the Cowles companies are remembered for producing alloys in quantity sufficient for commerce. Their furnaces were electric arc smelters, one of the first viable methods for extracting metals.
George Henry Jewett II was an American athlete who became the first African-American football player at both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, and in the Big Ten Conference. He played for the Michigan Wolverines as a fullback, halfback, and field goal kicker in 1890 and 1892 and was considered one of Michigan's greatest players in the pre-Fielding H. Yost era.
The Hoopes process is a metallurgical process, used to obtain the aluminium metal of very high purity. The process was patented by William Hoopes, a chemist of the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) in 1925.
Aluminium metal is very rare in native form, and the process to refine it from ores is complex, so for most of human history it was unknown. However, the compound alum has been known since the 5th century BCE and was used extensively by the ancients for dyeing. During the Middle Ages, its use for dyeing made it a commodity of international commerce. Renaissance scientists believed alum was a salt of a new earth; during the Age of Enlightenment, it was established that this earth, alumina, was an oxide of a new metal. Discovery of this metal was announced in 1825 by Danish physicist Hans Christian Ørsted, whose work was extended by German chemist Friedrich Wöhler.
Sophronia Brooks Hall (1827-1885), an 1850 graduate of Oberlin College
In all [as of 1860], forty-seven ladies have completed the full College Course of study here, and two hundred and forty-nine have completed the Ladies' Course.