Steve Jobs, Man of Metal

Like you, I have now read probably half a dozen pieces on the amazing contributions of Steve Jobs. A visionary, an innovator, Thomas Edison-like, perhaps our modern Albert Einstein¦we’ll leave the big thoughts to others. But in our world of metals, we have only one observation — nobody has made metals as sexy and as cool as Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs left a profound legacy for anyone that produces, fabricates, casts, pours, bends, stamps, shears, slits, extrudes, shapes or pours metal.

We here at MetalMiner, especially my colleague Nate Burgos, have often written about Apple’s achievements in product design. We pay tribute now to some of these.

Whether it’s the metal used in the basic design of key products:

Metal In Apple’s Design Language

Photograph by Shrine of Mac

Photograph by MailCones, Flickr

Photograph by mackeer, Flickr

or the more “progressive” selection of glass (vs. plastic) that relies upon exotic metals such as indium, Complementing Aluminum iPad’s Magnetism and Glass:

A model flexes a piece of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Source: Corning, Inc./AP

or to liquid injected metal Apple’s Manufacturing Move to Liquid Metal

or the stainless steel case in the iPhone 4, Elegant Design Steel Bound iPhone 4

Detail of iPhone 4 by Apple, Inc.

to my personal favorite, the aluminum behind the new notebook (in my case, the MacBook Air, which I love) Aluminum Brick Behind Apple Notebook

to spreading the wealth to a host of Apple accessory suppliers Happy Days for Apple’s Metal Casting Suppliers:

Apple iPod cases made by Catcher Technology.

iPhone cases.

A Macbook frame.

Catcher’s touch panels. Photos: Catcher Technology

Catcher has the capability of extruding and casting a variety of tech parts.

…it’s undeniable that Steve Jobs has done for metals what Henry Ford did for auto production.

Perhaps it was Jobs himself who said he liked to play in the intersection of liberal arts and technology. We’d argue liberal arts and technology with a preference for metals. This industry will likely never see another advocate like Steve Jobs again.

–Lisa Reisman

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  • Thank you, Lisa, for this wonderful summary of Steve Jobs’ relationship with metal. And it’s a relationship of reciprocal qualities: hard, charged and an evolving conductor of brilliance.


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