Materion History

We may be only five years old – but we’ve got hundreds of years of history.

In the marketplace and among our customers, we’re known by a single name: Materion. Yet, we’ve built who we are today because we have centuries of innovative lineage behind us. These collective efforts fuel the Materion of tomorrow.

1912-01-01 01:52:47

Alexander D. Williams

After discovering the second largest gold nugget during the Alaska Gold Rush, Williams moves to Kansas City. He uses his gains from the gold rush to buy into a company that manufactures dental gold from gold scrap, later starting a plant in Buffalo, NY. For three generations the Williams family continues to run the Williams Gold Refining Company.

1920-01-01 01:52:47

Reginald Williams

Reginald (son to Alexander) works with Dr. Leeds Northrop at Princeton University to develop the first commercial application of the induction furnace now recognized as the best process to produce high-quality gold alloy.

1921-01-01 01:52:47

Charles F. Brush Jr. and Dr. Charles B. Sawyer

Sawyer, a metallurgical engineer, worked with Brush to investigate the commercial potential of mineral crystals. Together the two founded Brush Laboratories Company.

1924-01-01 01:52:47

Bengt Kjellgren

The Swedish chemical engineer, begins working with Sawyer on the extraction of beryllium oxide from beryl ore. He will eventually lead Brush Beryllium Co.

1930-02-02 02:26:04

An idea is born

The company pioneers and patents the direct reduction of beryllium oxide with carbon in the presence of copper in an electric arc. This process makes previous electrolytic production models obsolete and enables the economical production of copper beryllium master alloy.

1931-01-01 01:52:47

Charles F. Brush, Sr.

With the death of his son in 1927, the great Euclid-born inventor begins working with Sawyer to incorporate Brush Beryllium Company.

1931-02-02 02:26:04

Where we started...

Although we're Materion today, we've been known by many names over the years. On January 9, 1931, the Brush Beryllium Company officially incorporated, with a capitalized investment of $500.

1933-01-01 01:52:47

Beryllium oxide makes its debut in radio tubes

The company's first commercial sale – an order of 50 pounds of pure beryllium oxide – was made in the early months of 1933 to the Rare Metals Manufacturing Company, which produced electric insulators in radio tubes. Other early oxide customers included the American Lava Corporation, Ken-Rad Corporation and the General Electric Company which needed the materials to manufacture refractories, spark plugs, electrical porcelains and gas mantles.

1935-12-05 19:44:37

Production moves to Lorain, Ohio

1939-01-01 01:52:47

Supporting defense efforts during WWII

With war breaking out across Europe, the U.S. government takes an interest in beryllium for its top-secret defense efforts. During the U.S. involvement in World War II, the company supplies more than half of the country’s copper beryllium requirements, used extensively in forged aircraft engine bushings and cast brake and clutch rings for Navy marine diesels. The products become a staple for the military, due in part to their strength and resistance to corrosion.

Materion History

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