That's right, folks. plain old copper is a Victorian technology that is right on the cutting edge.
When alloyed with tin, you get Bronze. When alloyed with zinc, you get brass.
Its extruded into plumbing tubes, drawn into wire, and pretty much made possible the most sensational feature Victorian era: electricity.
modern materials have replaced copper for a great many applications, but its still the go-to for when you need something that is versatile, forgiving, and low cost.
The copper balloon airship, as designed by Fransesco Lana de Terzi, was one of the first concepts of an airship that had potential for reality, and used copper in its construction.
de Terzi got his idea from the Magdeburg Spheres, which were developed by Otto von Guericke.
de Terzi correctly surmised that the difference in density between air and another medium would generate differential lift, and that this lift could be great enough to lift objects of considerable mass.
In this case, de Terzi determined that vacuum had the most lift of all (and he was correct). However, his airship design failed because he overlooked the material strength required of the vacuum. He was hypothesizing a vacuum envelope only 1/250th of an inch thick, which in reality would be crushed by the weight of air pressure, and would still weigh more than the lift to be produced.
The Daguerreotype, a photographic process that uses silver mirrored copper for the image.
The real dangers of this are that it used mercury vapor to develop the image. (Mad hatter syndrome, anyone?)