Industry: Back to Glamour

As the nation's second most widely used metal (after steel), aluminum is a fair barometer of prosperity, since it is still considered a "glamorous" metal and is usually more expensive than steel. The industry, hit by an economic recession, overcapacity and a cutback in Government stockpiling, has not looked very glamorous since 1958. But rising U.S. wealth has brought back some of the shine to aluminum. Nowadays it seems to be almost everywhere, from towering curtain-wall skyscrapers to a whole new family of seamless, zip-top, snap-top and soft-top aluminum cans. Though profits have not yet kept pace, production is...

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