I've been around since about the time the first steam locomotive was introduced; so actually I am a really "old" baby. I am almost 200 years old. Ancient civilizations used to use me to turn sand into glass. Although, I was available in abundance, chemists had little interest in me.
In 1811, Joseph Gay Lussac and Louis Jacques Thenard used silicon tetrachloride with potassium metla and produced silicon in an impure form. The credit for my discovery goes to Jons Jacob Berzelius. I was discovered once he heated potassium fluorosilicate with postassium. The first result was contaminated with postassium silicide, but once water was stirred in, I reacted and a pure form of silicon powder was found.