Tin is one of the metals known for the longest to man. It is one of the main components of bronze, which revolutionised civilisation as bronze was harder and easier to work with than copper. Tin is smelted in a similar way to iron, by reducing it with coal.
Today tin is used mainly as an alloy with other metals, and to coat other metals to stop them from rusting. Tin is used to line tin cans, which are actually made of steel.