Alcoa’s Massena Operations is celebrating its 120th anniversary and its title as the world’s oldest continuously operating smelter. Built in 1902, Massena Operations has a rich history of dedicated employees producing high-quality aluminum for the transportation, construction, defense and food industries. The plant has provided for families, served as a strategic partner to defense and aerospace industries and helped humankind explore the surface of the moon. A recent economic impact study, which was commissioned in connection with the plant’s anniversary, shows that the site’s approximately 450 employees also help make an impact statewide in New York. The study showed that the plant’s direct, indirect and induced effects contribute to more USD 150 million in payroll earnings.On July 12, 1902, ground was broken in Massena, to form the smelter that has been at the root of Alcoa’s legacy of innovation. Massena started producing aluminum soon after Charles Martin Hall, the inventor of the original aluminum process, signed an agreement to purchase renewable power from the powerhouse connecting the St Lawrence and Grasse rivers. In 1934, Alcoa engineers and researchers developed a casting method at Massena that created larger and higher quality aluminum ingots that could be used in a greater variety of alloys, including those used for aircraft. The plant’s employees have produced aluminum for World War II fighter planes, Titan II rockets, Saturn IB space vehicles and Vietnam War helicopters.In 1946, the plant helped build the first aluminum bridge span in the United States on the nearby Grasse River Railroad Bridge.In 1969, Apollo 8 was constructed with a welding electrode from Massena Operations while the Apollo 11 lunar module contained Massena aluminum.In its 120 years, the facility has undergone many changes and upgrades. In 1977, the smelter had the longest potline in the world. Learn more about Alcoa's history and legacy of innovation. That sustainable electricity continues to power the smelting and casting operations today.