As has been stated, copper is one the metals first used by man. Perhaps this is the reason for copper’s proven versatility. A metal of both past and future – read more about the history of copper here.
The history of copper began longer ago than one might think. Mankind’s advancing copper handling skills are truly something to behold. After the first findings of copper over 10 000 years ago, the craftsmanship has brought the metal to use for many purposes and in even more shapes. The ancient Romans were able to extract copper ores, the Egyptians turned copper into water pipes and, in the fourth millenium BC, copper axes were casted in the Balkans.
The Bronze Age
About five thousand years later, copper usage had become so widespread, to say the least, and one particular copper alloy had outgrown its mother metal to the extent that we later called this period of time the Bronze age. Copper was smelted together with thin to create this mix, which was valued higher thanks to its strength. Thanks to this, we gained knowledge that later in history served to smelt iron.
Maps worth their weight in copper
During the 15th century, the invention of the printer created an augmented demand for copper, since the wieldy metal could easily be engraved and used as printing plates. They were especially requested for map printing.
The history of copper might make many people think about copper coins and pennies, which started out as products made of 100% copper. Later on, nickel, tin zinc and steel were involved in the process and from 1982, the products are made of zinc plated with copper, and still is today.
A metal of the future
Nowadays, the world produces more than 5 million tons of copper every year. The metal’s ductility is proven by the many miles of copper tubes in the plumbing and heating systems. The most modernizing feature of copper might be its electrical conductivity, one of the fundamentals the power generation of today rests on. Looking back at the history of copper, the different applications of copper seem endless, and hopefully, it will remain so many centuries to come.