Posted by Alice McCall on 26th Sep 2021

The History of Cast Iron

When it comes to decorating your home, cast iron is a wonderfully versatile material. From shabby-chic living rooms to rustic-minimalist kitchens, it goes with all kinds of different decor styles. Here at Pick and Fix, we sell a range of beautiful cast iron products. Some of which are listed throughout this article, but if you want to see the full catalogue, simply go up to our search bar and type in "cast iron". 

This morning, I was wondering what the history of cast iron is. Where was it created? What has it been used for? I decided to do a bit of research, and thought that you would be just as interested in my findings as I was.


Victorian Cast Iron Shelf Bracket

The earliest cast-iron artifacts can be dated back as far as 5th Century BC, and were discovered by archaeologists in what is now known as Luhe County, Jiangsu in China. 

Because of this, it is believed that cast iron was invented in China in 5th Century BC. (How amazing is it to think that we're decorating our homes with a material with such a long, impressive history?) The iron would be poured into moulds, and used to create ploughshares, pots, weapons and pagodas. Cast iron was a cheaper alternative to the more desirable steel, which was used more commonly to make weapons.

Gallows-Style Cast Iron Shelf Bracket

In the 13th century, travellers began to note an iron industry in the Alburz Mountains, which is to the south of the Caspian Sea. This was close to the silk route, which was a network of trade routes connecting the East and West. This is another clue that points cast iron's origins to China.

Cast iron didn't become available in the west until the 15th Century, where one of its first uses was to build cannons. Up until this point, the west had been using copper but found that cast iron was more cost effective. 

From this point onwards, cast iron was used for everything from cookware to building bridges. And, of course, for coat hooks and kitchen handles. 

We hope you have enjoyed this blog post and now feel inspired to go and browse our cast iron products!

Victorian Ceramic Tip Coat Hook

Cast Iron Square Handle with Label Frame

Cast Iron Pumpkin Knob