Titanium’s discovery was announced in 1791 by the amateur geologist Reverend William Gregor from Cornwall, England. (1), (2)

Gregor found a black, magnetic sand that looked like gunpowder in a stream in the parish of Mannacan in Cornwall, England. (We now call this sand ilmenite; it is a mixture consisting mainly of the oxides of iron and titanium.)

Gregor analyzed the sand, finding it was largely magnetite (Fe3O4) and the rather impure oxide of a new metal, which he described as ‘reddish brown calx.’

This calx turned yellow when dissolved in sulfuric acid and purple when reduced with irontin or zinc. Gregor concluded that he was dealing with a new metal, which he named manaccanite in honor of the parish of Mannacan.

Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. Found in nature only as an oxide, it can be reduced to produce a lustrous transition metal with a silver color, low density, and high strength, resistant to corrosion in sea water, aqua regia, and chlorine.

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