Aluminum in Architectural History: A Rundown

Aluminum panels joined together

Humans came across and discovered aluminum hundreds of years ago. This historical event can be marked by the words of a Roman scientist. He reveals that the first-ever object made of aluminum was a cup that looked like something silver but was too lightweight to be silver.

Aluminum, today as we see and use it, was used quite differently back in the day. It, however, gained dramatic popularity due to its tensile strength, durability, and thermal insulation capacity. Aluminum has been used by people for several years, and we continue to evolve our capabilities of using this extremely versatile metal.

A Mother and Daughter Taken From the Doorway

Today, from aluminum soft drink cans and straws to sturdy aluminum doors and windows, thousands of products are made of pure and mixed aluminum. This metal has truly changed the ways humans build their ships, homes, offices, railroads, machines, and computers.

In this post, we have talked about everything aluminum. Our main focus has been on the historical uses and applications of this metal. So let’s delve deeper without further ado!

A Complex Yet Easy-to-Use Metal

In the past, copper, silver, and gold were the three most commonly used metals. However, humans soon realized that these metals were precious and too expensive for people. Hence, they set out to explore new, better, and less expensive alternatives.

When aluminum was discovered, it was considered one of the most versatile and cheapest metals. But, we soon realized that refining aluminum was a complex task, and so, this metal became more precious and rarer than gold and silver in the 19th Century.

The first-ever successful aluminum extraction was done by a Danish chemist Hans-Christian in 1825. He extracted aluminum from an ore and studied it deeply to understand its properties and characteristics. In the late 1800s, aluminum production techniques became easy and cost-effective. Soon, this metal was used in building projects and creating strong infrastructures.

Due to aluminum’s vast usage in automotive, railway, shipyard, construction, transportation, energy, and many other sectors during this period, historians declared it The Age of Aluminum.

Aluminum in 20th Century

During the start of the 20th Century, aluminum wasn’t used in engineering and architecture industries due to high production, extraction, and refining costs. But thanks to developing technologies, the metal soon became one of the cheapest metals for construction.

Innovation-led extraction and refinement procedures reduced aluminum’s cost by 80%, and, hence, builders started using it to produce doors, windows, roofs, shades, and more. You’d be surprised to know that by this time, aluminum was being used in 80% of the automotive parts production.

Historical Uses of Aluminum

Aluminum was used in several ways in myriad industries. This metal allowed humans to form complex yet sturdy components for buildings, vehicles, and airplanes. Let’s look at aluminum’s historical applications in a few most notable sectors:


Alfred Nobel was the first person who ordered the manufacturing of the great Le Migron. It was the ultimate passenger boat that was made using an aluminum hull in Switzerland. Soon after this, in 1894, a Scottish shipbuilding company manufactured a torpedo boat made of aluminum. This boat was called Sokol, and was designed for the Russian Empire’s Navy.

In short, aluminum was preferred by several Navy and Army teams across the globe.

Rail Road Building

In the same era, a New York-based railroad company named Hartford Railroad, started manufacturing cars, railway tracks, and trains using aluminum as the main raw material. This company was then owned by the famous banker, J.P. Morgan.

In only five years period, Karl Benz produced a sports car entirely made of aluminum.


Aluminum is considered the best metal for building airplanes, helicopters, and other types of aircrafts. Due to the metal’s light weightiness and malleability, it’s highly suitable for designing high-performance air vehicles.

Aluminum was introduced in the aviation sector in the late 1900s. Today, it’s still used in the respective industry and is even known as the ‘winged metal’.


Soon after its discovery, aluminum was used in making kitchen utensils, replacing copper and iron that weren’t just heavy, but extremely inefficient. Copper, iron, and brass were commonly used for making housewares, but they weren’t durable due to their corrosive nature.

Aluminum made it extremely easy and convenient for utensils and housewares manufacturers to produce quality products at a much smaller cost. Aluminum is still used in the making of utensils like pans, pots, and spoons. This metal is considered safe and suitable for cooking because it doesn’t corrode, warms up quickly, hence leads to less significant energy consumption.

Aluminum in the 21st Century

Aluminum continues to be a highly efficient and versatile metal in the 21st Century. Today, we see it as an essential part of the building, construction, engineering, and many more industries. It’s now widely used in medical machine production as well.

From a dentist’s tools to chemical apparatus production, aluminum alloys are highly popular. This is mainly because aluminum is easy and light to transport. It doesn’t cost too much and is easier to mold into various shapes, sizes, and designs. Today, aluminum’s malleability and versatility are further enhanced through galvanization and anodizing procedures.

As a result, it’s used it maximizing energy efficiency, aesthetic appeal, and structural integrity of residential and commercial buildings.

What’s more, aluminum is amazing at molding into gravity-defying forms. Hence, aluminum window frames and doors are used in constructing skyscrapers. 

pink pillar candle in clear glass candle holder

Interesting Facts About Aluminum

Let’s look at some of the most interesting and shocking facts about aluminum:

Aluminum Was the Choice of Elites

While today, aluminum is a common metal, it held substantial value back in the day. Napoleon III, the first President of the French Republic, used aluminum ware. He loved services his guests in aluminum, silver, and gold plates and bowls.

The Savior During the Great Depression

During the great depression, aluminum was used in hydroelectric projects that increased electricity production capacity, making it one of the most precious metals.

Aluminum Has Been to Moon!

You may not know this, but aluminum was the metal that made the first manned flight to the moos possible. This metal was used in crafting spaceships such as the Sputnik that traveled all the way to the moon. This was made possible by aluminum.

Aluminum Doors and Windows

Aluminum is also referred to as the magical metal. It’s mainly found in Bauxite ore, the third most abundant ore found in the Earth’s crust.

But what makes this metal incredibly amazing for making windows and doors?

A craftsman making an aluminum door

Aluminum is both malleable and ductile. This metal can be pressed into thin sheets or can be molded into sturdy metallic panels for construction. Its robustness and sturdiness make it extremely suitable for producing doors and windows.

Contact Us to Order High-Quality Aluminum Doors and Windows

Launched in 2008, ORIDOW is one of the unprecedented aluminum doors and windows manufacturers based in China. We’re highly skilled at designing, customizing, and manufacturing aluminum windows and doors in numerous sizes, designs, and shapes.

Our aluminum doors and windows can make your home or office secure, more energy-efficient, and aesthetically appealing.

Some of our best-selling products include Aluminum French doors, Aluminum double hung windows, Aluminum bi fold windows, Aluminum jalousie windows, UPVC casement windows, UPVC sliding windows, UPVC tilt turn window, among many others.

You can also get in touch with us for bulk orders and MOQ rates. Our team can guide and assist you regarding our non-thermal aluminum windows and doors. We also offer a ten-year warranty on our products along with 24/7 technical assistance and installation guidance.

Get in touch with us today for more details.



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