Chromium was discovered in 1797 by French chemist Louis- Nicolas Vaquelin (1763-1829) in a mineral known as Siberian red lead. The element was named after the Greek word chroma, meaning "color"
because many chromium compounds have a distinctive color, ranging from purple to black to green to orange to yellow.
About 70% of all chromium is used in the production of stainless steel employed in a great variety of products, including automobile and truck bodies, plating for boats and ships, construction parts for buildings and bridges, parts for chemical and petroleum equipment, electric cables, machines parts, eating and cooking utensils, and reinforcing materials in tires.
Some compounds of chromium, because of their distinctive colors, are often used in printing, dyeing, and coloring cloth, plastic, and other materials.