Kaiser was an industrial colossus, firmly supported on legs of steel, cement and aluminum. Its various companies built cars, roadways, bridges, tunnels, dishwashers, dams—Hoover and Grand Coulee, among them—and even kitchen sinks. They mined and refined coal, iron ore, magnesium and a half-dozen other minerals. During the height of World War II, Kaiser’s West Coast shipyards launched a new ship—troop transports, cargo carriers, frigates and tankers—every ...

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