A century ago, India set up its first iron and steel factory when Jamsetji Tata founded the Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) along with the industrial town of Jamshedpur on the banks of the river Subarnarekha. The First World War however hampered steel production.
TISCO became the largest steel factory under the colonial rule.
The sword of Tipu Sultan was exceptionally hard and sharp, was made of a special type of carbon steel known as Wootz. Wootz steel was being produced in almost all the states in south India and swords made from this steel had a very sharp edge due to the tiny embedded carbon crystals used in them. By the middle of the 19th century, Wootz production in south India came to a standstill.
Iron smelting was a common occupation throughout India, particularly in Central India and Bihar. The smelters used local iron ore deposits to produce iron for making tools and implements of daily use.
The craft of smelting iron saw a decline by the end of the 19th century, owing to steel imports from Britain and stringent forest laws. The laws introduced by the colonial government, prohibited smelters from entering forests to collect iron ore and firewood for charcoal.