Why Napoleon III Served Dinner On Aluminum Instead Of Gold

How precious becomes common: the story of aluminum

Erik Brown
8 min readMar 15, 2020

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Washington Monument Capstone (1934) — Theodor Horydczak / Public domain

“It is almost impossible to imagine our world without aluminum. Almost everywhere you look you see items made of this silver-white metal — from the pots in the kitchen to the airplanes flying overhead. Although aluminium is the most abundant metal on earth, no one had ever seen it…

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