Historical Article on Tin

From the bronze age to food cans, here's how tin changed humanity


"Mention tin and most people would think of the typical tin can, used to preserve foods you store in your cupboards. Tin is used here to help protect the can against corrosion (although not all cans today contain tin).

"But while the use of tin in canning only dates back to the early 1800s, the mixing of tin with other elements dates back many centuries."

David Trammel's picture

Both are alloys that have tremendous usages and whose making is a bit of a secret.

The history of humans using metal is one of the bedrocks of civilization.

lathechuck's picture

I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to with "both are alloys", but tin is an element, which can be alloyed with copper to make bronze. (Stainless steel is an alloy, mostly iron, with chrome and molybdenum.) "Tin cans" are not a tin alloy, but tin plating on a steel can. "Tin foil" (while we're at it), is an anachronistic usage, now that thin metal foil for covering food containers is made of aluminum, rather than the original (pure) tin.

Blueberry's picture

Another that you will hear " That roof is made of aluminum tin " A good use of tin is in the making of pewter beer mugs