Seven thousand years in the service of humanity--the history of copper, the red metal
AbstractMeasured by weight, copper is the third most important metal used by man. The annual value of its 2007 output was on a par with the GDP of e.g. Ukraine. Copper is also one of the oldest metals, its employment going back 7000 years. For millennia, it was predominantly employed for decorative purposes, coinage and in warfare. Technical breakthroughs in antiquity, like smelting and alloying, expanded its production and enhanced its utility. Copper's true heyday occurred after 1850, with the usage of electricity. In the period since then, volumes increased 300-fold, while costs and prices declined. With impressive progress in the technology of its production and consumption, the red metal has been able to hold its own, despite the emergence over history of formidable substitutes like iron, aluminum, plastics and optic fiber.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Resources Policy.
Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30467
Copper in antiquity Copper in modern uses Long-run trends in production Consumption and prices Main copper substitutes in history;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Martin Stürmer, 2013.
"150 Years of Boom and Bust: What Drives Mineral Commodity Prices?,"
pst529, Job Market Papers.
- Stuermer, Martin, 2013. "150 Years of Boom and Bust: What Drives Mineral Commodity Prices?," MPRA Paper 51859, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Martin Stuermer & Gregor Schwerhoff, 2013. "Technological change in resource extraction and endogenous growth," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2013, University of Bonn, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.