Wah Chang Corporation

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Wah Chang Corporation
Founded1916 [1][2]
FounderKuo-Ching Li
HeadquartersAlbany, Linn County, Oregon
Area served
Key people
Kuo-Ching Li; Lynn D. Davis
RevenueIncrease US$$265 million (FY 2005)[3]
Number of employees
WebsiteOfficial Website

Wah Chang Corporation was an American manufacturing company in the metal or alloy industry based in Albany, Oregon in the United States. Since 2014, it is a business unit of ATI.


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 Cantonese 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 1953, Stephen W. H. Yih, who had a master's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, was hired by Wah Chang in New York. Yih worked on the titanium project at the U.S. Bureau of Mines in Boulder City, Nevada. Within a year, high quality titanium was produced.[7]

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,[8] the main Albany plant (located in the then-unincorporated area known as Millersburg) becoming a subsidiary named Teledyne Wah Chang Albany, or TWCA.[9] 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.[10] 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.[8] The Alabama factory became a separate subsidiary named Teledyne Wah Chang Huntsville.[11]

In 1975, TWCA had 1,400 employees,[9] 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.[12]

After Teledyne merged with Allegheny Ludlum Corporation in 1996, to become Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, the company became ATI Wah Chang.

Wah Chang People[edit]

  • Edmund F. Baroch - Vice President of Teledyne Wah Chang in Albany, Oregon.
  • Kuo-Ching Li - Founder, President, and Chairman of Wah Chang.
  • Stephen W. H. Yih - Engineer who worked on the titanium project and produced high quality titanium.[7]

Merger and Acquisition[edit]

  • 1916 Kuo-Ching Li founded Wah Chang Trading Corporation in New York state.
  • 1967 Acquired by Teledyne and became Teledyne Wah Chang Albany (TWCA) located in Albany, Oregon. It became a subsidiary of Teledyne.
  • Wah Chang's Alabama plant became Teledyne Wah Chang Huntsville, a subsidiary of Teledyne.
  • 1996 Teledyne acquired by Allegheny Ludlum Corporation, which created parent company named Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI). Teledyne Wah Chang became ATI Wah Chang.
  • 2014 ATI Wah Chang renamed ATI Specialty Alloys and Components, a business unit of ATI.


In March 2014,[13] it was renamed ATI Specialty Alloys and Components.[14]

See also[edit]


  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 "Stephen W. H. Yih". democratherald.com. March 16, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Pratt, Gerry (July 9, 1967). "N-Power Boom Aids Exotic Metals Plant". The Sunday Oregonian. Section 1, p. 30.
  9. ^ a b "In reorganization: Longtime Wah Chang leader axed". The Sunday Oregonian. September 5, 1975. p. D9.
  10. ^ "Firm Moves Into Metals [Acquisition by Teledyne]". The Sunday Oregonian. April 5, 1967. Section 3, p. 7.
  11. ^ "Plant may spur Albany output". The Oregonian. June 26, 1984. p. D13.
  12. ^ "Teledyne Wah Chang: Millersburg, Linn County". Oregon Health Authority. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  13. ^ "ATI renames business units". Metal Powder Report. April 1, 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  14. ^ "Albany, Oregon, USA". Allegheny Technologies Inc. Retrieved 2015-02-22.