Wah Chang Corporation

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Wah Chang Corporation
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 1916 [1][2]
Founder K.C. Li
Headquarters Albany, Linn County, Oregon
Area served
Key people
K.C. Li; Lynn D. Davis
Revenue Increase US$$265 million (FY 2005)[3]
Number of employees
Website Official Website

Wah Chang Corporation is an American manufacturing company based in Albany, Oregon in the United States. In 1916 (some sources say 1914[4][5]), Chinese American mining engineer Kuo-Ching Li[2] founded the company in New York state, under the name Wah Chang Trading Corporation.[4] Wah Chang is Chinese for "fortunate enterprise"[5] or "great development".[6] This expanded as an international tungsten ore and concentrate trading company. Li remained with the company until his death in 1961, serving as president until 1960 and then board chairman.[2]

In 1946, the company built a plant in Union City, New Jersey. In the 1950s, it was also operating tungsten mines in Calento, Nevada, and near Bishop, California.[4] In early 1956, the Atomic Energy Commission contracted with Wah Chang to run the U.S. Bureau of Mines zirconium plant in Albany, Oregon, to develop high-purity zirconium for use in the United States Navy's nuclear program.

Wah Chang was privately owned by K. C. Li until 1967, when it was acquired by Teledyne,[7] the main Albany plant (located in the then-unincorporated area known as Millersburg) becoming a subsidiary named Teledyne Wah Chang Albany, or TWCA.[8] In 1966, Wah Chang had around 1,200 employees, in plants in Albany, Oregon; Glen Cove, New York; Huntsville, Alabama; and Texas City, Texas, and sales of $40.7 million.[9] The Albany plant was by far the largest, and at the time of its sale to Teledyne, it accounted for around $20 million in annual revenue, with 860 employees at that location.[7] The Alabama factory became a separate subsidiary named Teledyne Wah Chang Huntsville.[10]

In 1975, TWCA had 1,400 employees,[8] and had $100 million in annual sales.[6]

The Millersburg plant was listed as a Superfund site in 1983, requiring environmental clean-up, which the company carried out over the following several years.[11]

After Teledyne merged with Allegheny Ludlum Corporation in 1996, to become Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, the company became ATI Wah Chang. In March 2014,[12] it was renamed ATI Specialty Alloys and Components.[13]


  1. ^ "From a history of 'great developments'...". Wah Chang Corporation. Archived from the original on July 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b c "Albany Plant Official Dies [obituary of Kuo-Ching Li]". The Oregonian. March 9, 1961. p. 9. 
  3. ^ "Company History: Wah Chang". Answers.com. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^ a b c Ferguson, James H. (May 11, 1956). "Business Briefs: New Industrial Resident [Wah Chang moving to Oregon]". The Oregonian. Section 2, p. 10. 
  5. ^ a b Hauser, Paul (January 19, 1958). "Albany's Large Zirconium Industry Outgrowth of Experimental Plant". The Sunday Oregonian. Section 1, p. 34. 
  6. ^ a b "Exotic metal plant also yields exotic odors". The Oregonian. June 17, 1976. p. D9. 
  7. ^ a b Pratt, Gerry (July 9, 1967). "N-Power Boom Aids Exotic Metals Plant". The Sunday Oregonian. Section 1, p. 30. 
  8. ^ a b "In reorganization: Longtime Wah Chang leader axed". The Sunday Oregonian. September 5, 1975. p. D9. 
  9. ^ "Firm Moves Into Metals [Acquisition by Teledyne]". The Sunday Oregonian. April 5, 1967. Section 3, p. 7. 
  10. ^ "Plant may spur Albany output". The Oregonian. June 26, 1984. p. D13. 
  11. ^ "Teledyne Wah Chang: Millersburg, Linn County". Oregon Health Authority. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  12. ^ "ATI renames business units". Metal Powder Report. April 1, 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  13. ^ "Albany, Oregon, USA". Allegheny Technologies Inc. Retrieved 2015-02-22.