Imagine a world without metal. Cars would be made of stone. Or maybe of wood like a bullock cart! Would we have aeroplanes then? Stone would be too heavy to fly, and wood might break!
Sounds strange, right? But did you know that a world without metal did exist? A very long time ago people only had clay, wood and stone to make stuff. They had not discovered metal yet. That time is called the “Stone-age”, as most things like hunting spears were made of stone.
Then someone found a metal called copper and mixed it with another metal called tin to make bronze. People were overjoyed as metal was easier to use than stone. Spears became sharper and cooking pots lighter. This era is known as the “Bronze-age”.
Soon after, someone smarter discovered iron. They began using fire to remove iron from rock. Iron ore or raw iron was more easily available than copper and tin. We just didn’t know how to melt it out earlier. Iron was magic metal. It was much stronger and harder than bronze. It made people’s lives simpler. Improved tools for digging and farming became common. Now we could build large bridges and sturdy houses. Several forts were constructed for safety.
If you have ever visited a fort, you may remember long pipelike weapons propped on its walls. These cannons were used to shoot heavy iron balls on the enemy. Without iron, even the cannon would not exist. You must have guessed by now what this era is called – the “Iron-age”!
Even today iron is everywhere. It is the main ingredient of steel, a metal used in cars, aeroplanes, houses and machines. Walk into your kitchen, you’ll find several cooking pots made of steel. Peek into dad’s toolbox- the hammer, pliers and screwdrivers are all iron and steel. Look around – what else can you see that is made of steel?