No one knows how lead was discovered. It was known to the ancients and is mentioned in the Bible. Scientists believe that lead was discovered as a by-product of mining other metals, such as copper.
Though lead has been mined in great amounts for thousands of years, it is somewhat rare in its free state. The most common lead ore is galena.
Lead is a soft, heavy and dull silver metal with a low melting point. It is a poor conductor of electricity and resists corrosion. Metalworkers prize lead for plumbing pipes, solder and in construction because of these attributes.