Iron has been used throughout history for many purposes. Wrought iron can be used for seating, fences, and other decorative purposes, while steel is often used in construction. Cast iron can be used in the kitchen. Other compounds that include this element are used in dyes, insecticides, water purification, and many other products.
Most people are familiar with wrought iron, which is often used to make outdoor seating, decorative fences, arbors, and trellises. Since wrought iron tends to more resistant to rusting than many other forms of this metal, while still being very easy to mold and work with, it is ideal for use in items that are meant to remain outside in all sorts of weather.
Combinations of iron and steel, sometimes referred to as alloyed steel, is ideal for use in construction. For example, alloyed steel is often used for the framework of a number of storage buildings, as well as in the construction of some parts of automobiles and the hulls of large carrier and passenger ships. Because the material holds up so well to a variety of temperatures and pressure, the alloy is just right for all forms of construction.
Cast iron is one form that many people would not think of being without in their kitchens. The even heating quality of cast iron makes it a perfect material for skillets, Dutch ovens, cake pans, cornbread trays and a number of other forms of cooking hollow ware. The art of properly seasoning this metal for use in the kitchen is something that is often passed down from generation to generation within a family. In some families, cookware may also be passed down through the years, with grandchildren proudly using the cast iron cookware once used by their great grandparents.
Not all things made of iron are readily seen, although they impact people's lives every day. For example, iron acetate is used in the dyeing process for cotton and other types of cloth. Iron arsenate is used in the insecticides that are used in flower and vegetable gardens. Iron hydroxide is used in many water purification systems, including the type that attaches to the kitchen sink. People who have an iron deficiency that needs correction will use iron gluconate as a diet supplement. Other uses for iron in some form include the production of rubber products, a pigment in paints, and an additive in animal feed.