AluminumThe variety of Aluminum used to manufacture airplane wings is capable of withstanding loads of more than 90,000 pounds per square inch. Aluminum can be spun into a filament so fine that 1 1/2 pounds of it could encircle the earth.
AsteroidIt has been estimated that if one cubic kilometer of a mineral rich Asteroid were brought to earth it would be worth about $5 trillion. Such an Asteroid would provide the world with about two hundred years' supply of nickel and enough steel to run industries in every country for the next fifteen years, given the current rate of use.
AutomobilesIt took Henry Ford's Motor Company seven years to manufacture 1 million Automobiles. One hundred thirty-two working days after this figure was reached (in 1924), the company had made 9 million more cars.
CementThe United States uses 70 million tons of Cement every year--approximately one fifth of the Cement used throughout the world annually.
HatmakersThe character known as the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and the phrase "mad as a hatter" are both based on a tragic episode in manufacturing history. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Hatmakers used various chemicals in their work, among them mercury for curing felt. Mercury is a deadly poison, and the thousands of workers who handled this noxious substance developed pathological symptoms including kidney damage, anemia, inflammation of the gums, as well as insanity known today as "hatter's syndrome." It is estimated that at one time more than 10 percent of all the workers in hat factories ended their lives insane.
PlasticIt is estimated that a Plastic container can resist decomposition for as long as 50,000 years.
SteelMore Steel in America is used to make bottle caps than to manufacture automobile bodies.
Sulfur MatchesWhen Sulfur Matches were first manufactured, in the late nineteenth century, the workers who made them, usually young girls, licked the point of each match to make it stiff after dipping it in the requisite chemical solution. The solution contained radioactive zinc sulfide, which attacked the workers' teeth, jaws, and finally their entire bodies. No one knows how many thousands of young girls died of radioactive poisoning before they turned thirty.
TarThe first manufactured item ever exported from the america was Tar. It was sent from Jamestown, Virginia, to the colony's sponsors in England in 1608. There is some evidence that a cargo of sassafras had been sent previously from Cape God, but this was a natural substance and not commercially produced.
TechnologyThe human race as we know it has existed for approximately 50,000 years. This makes it approximately 800 lifetimes old, assuming a lifetime to be from sixty five to seventy years. Of these 800 lifetimes, about 650 were passed by cave dwellers. Nearly all the manufactured products, luxury items, and Technological conveniences we enjoy today were invented or perfected within only the last five to seven lifetimes.