Historical Alabama: Turning metal into motors

A photo walk down memory lane.

The information for this photo says that “engine pistons by the thousands are shipped each day from Ford Motor Company’s new aluminum castings plant at Sheffield, Alabama.” The photo is from October 1958 and references the “new Ford plant” near Reynolds Metal Company. In this photo, a 15-station trunnion wheel moves pistons past three saws. Excess metal is poured into molds to form the parts. Each machine could process about 1,100 pistons an hour. The plant closed in December 1983 and was demolished in 2008.

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History Do you have a photo you’d like us to consider for Historic Alabama? Send it to Erica West at [email protected]. This appeared in the September 2021 issue of Business Alabama.

The latest Alabama business news delivered to your inbox