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The establishment of the Albany Research Center (U.S. Bureau of Mines) is a vital part of Albany, Oregon’s history. Learn about the timeline of events, see historic photos, and join the community of history enthusiasts.

About the Project

The fight to establish the Northwest Electrodevelopment Laboratory in Albany, Oregon was a fascinating political tug-of-war. At times, some devious (or creative?) tactics were used to sway those in charge of its eventual placement.

Despite wild protestation from Washington State lawmakers, the final decision for the laboratory’s location was declared in a memo by Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 17, 1943. No time was wasted in hiring an architect to turn the semi-vacant former Albany College into a functioning government laboratory.

In the beginning it was difficult to find enough qualified personnel to staff the fledgling laboratory because of wartime demands. But soon things started clicking into place and a curious turn of events soon propelled the tiny laboratory into a national powerhouse of science, innovation, and creative synergy.

And that is exactly the story I’m here to tell: how metallurgical science and the hearts behind it changed a little Oregon town.