Tungsten has a rich history dating back to its discovery during the 18th century. Peter Woulfe was the first to recognize a new element in the naturally occurring mineral, wolframite. Tungsten was originally known as wolfram, explaining the choice of "W" for its elemental symbol. Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele contributed to its discovery as well with his studies on the mineral scheelite.
In 1841, a chemist named Robert Oxland gave the first procedures for preparing tungsten trioxide and sodium tungstate. He was granted patents for his work soon after, and is considered to be the founder of systematic tungsten chemistry.