ALCOA Aluminum Chess Set
These is the famous ALCOA Aluminum Chess Set. In 1962, the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) launched a marketing program to advance the selling of their aluminum products. The game of chess was chosen as the vehicle for this campaign as it is associated with intelligence and problem solving. As a result of a design and marketing collaboration, there emerged a strikingly beautiful, very modernistic, abstract chess set designed by Austin E. Cox A.S.I.D. of “Austin Enterprises” and the advertising agency of Ketchum, McLeod & Grove. ALCOA had these mesmerizing sets produced to give to their top customers. This was a fittingly strategic move, since the companies ALCOA currently serviced, or wished to do business with, could proudly display the set with, its ALCOA DNA, in their offices.
The 32 pieces of minimalist design were cut from extruded aluminum bars; the white army appearing in a natural aluminum finish, with the black army differentiated by black anodized sides with natural aluminum faces. The pieces range in size from 4 7/8″ for the King down to 3″ for the pawns. The pieces are strikingly abstract in form. The Queen is represented by a two-pronged crown, the Bishop by a simple cross, the Knight is a shield, Pawns are stylized spears and the King is, fittingly, the symbol of ALCOA. All pieces bear a stamp on their undersides: 1962 Austin Enterprises. Included is the original, somewhat blemished, Aluminum-framed Blue and gray cloth-covered chessboard.
The ALCOA Aluminum Chess Set is shipped in the original conforming walnut case with a blue tinted Plexiglas sliding door. The Walnut case measures 31″ by 6″. The pieces are in like-new condition. The attractive Aluminum-framed blue and gray cloth covered chessboard is included.