Seven thousand years in the service of humanity--the history of copper, the red metal
Measured 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.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:34:y:2009:i:4:p:176-184. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.