Before the 1900s, tin was commonly used to package household foods. Since it protected the foods inside, and it could be bent with ease, it was regarded as an inexpensive, easy and health conscious way to keep foods fresh. Some of its disadvantages, which lead to its defeat to aluminum, included the fact that it could only be rolled thicker than aluminum; it became brittle when warm, reducing its malleability greatly, and the tin foil created a strange aftertaste, which was undesirable to many.
During the beginning of the 1800s, scientists and companies began to experiment with aluminum foil. Reynolds Wrap, started by Richard Reynolds, became the first company to use aluminum foil instead of tin. His reasons were simple and logical: aluminum rolled thinner than tin, increasing the amount of foil the company could produce on the same amount of money, while also reducing the amount of time the machines had to keep working, which helped reduce pollution into the atmosphere. Since aluminum is also recyclable, it reduced the amount of waste held in dumps and landfills, and less would have to be produced, since it could be re-used. This would help keep the amount of aluminum depots high, which maintaining our natural resources, and reducing pollution, since the mining equipment would not have to be used as much. The product could also protect foods with more effectiveness than tin, so foods could be kept longer without endangering the eater, it had a shiny texture that appealed to the general public, and it eliminated the strange aftertaste only found by using tin. This proved that aluminum was indeed superior to tin, even though there is continuing controversy concerning neurological damage in humans, yet no scientific evidence can yet support it. More research needs to be completed. Concerning the name, tin foil stuck with the product, just due to the fact that it existed for much longer.
Tin is a transition element of the fourteenth group. Its atomic number...
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