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First called Boncar, a reversal of the two syllables of the word carbon, but renamed in 1931, Alloy was selected in the 1920s as a site for the huge plant that would supplement the existing EMCO plant at Glen Ferris. Construction began in 1930 on an all-steel furnace building that measured 740 feet by 100 feet and was 68 feet tall. A number of related structures included a packing shed almost as large as the furnace building. Initially the plant's high-voltage furnaces transformed ore into alloys, which, according to a wonderfully elementary explanation, are “the things that put muscle in steel.” By 1943 the plant was the world's largest producer of ferroalloys. Although some components postdate the 1930s, the gargantuan structures built then are still the most impressive.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.


What's Nearby


S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Alloy", [Mt Carbon, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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