April 2nd, 1889

On This Date in TWISTED-HISTORY.com! in 1889 Charles Hall patented the process that allowed pure aluminum to be processed cheaply from the combined elements it was found in nature. Why do Americans call it aluminum and Brits and the rest of the world call it aluminium? The story is that in 1808 when Sir Humphrey Davy discovered the metal, he initially named it alumium. Four years later in 1812, he decided to change the name to ‘aluminum’ which is the version we Americans use. But later that same year, other British scientists decided aluminum didn’t sound “latin” enough and decided to call it aluminium. Their quote from the Quarterly Review was “Aluminium, for so we shall take the liberty of writing the word, in preference to aluminum, which has a less classical sound.”

So in other words, the Brits decided to be asses and change the name that the discoverer chose, just because the word didn’t sound hoity-toity enough. So when a Brit or other Anglophile decides to chastise or make a nose in the air comment about how we spell and say aluminum wrong, remind them, we’re using the word that Sir Humphrey Davy, the discoverer of aluminum, wanted used.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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