This paper reviews the production of wrought iron from the ore, using charcoal as a fuel, and also from cast iron. The microstructure consists of an almost pure iron, ferrite, and a slag: the different forms of these are described and examples are given. The mechanical properties and corrosion resistance are good but depend upon the orientation of the slag and other precipitates. The use of wrought iron in ancient artifacts is covered and examples are given. In conclusion it is suggested that developments in the manufacture of wrought iron had a marked effect on the progress of civilization.