One of the earliest industrial applications of the electric current was the coating of base metals with a layer of a more expensive metal. This is called electroplating, and it serves. a double purpose. It protects the base metal from atmospheric corrosion and also gives it a more attractive appearance. Silver plating has long been used to enhance the appearance of household cutlery and other articles made from nickel alloys. At one time, nickel plating was very popular, but nowadays it has largely been replaced by chromium and cadmium. Mainly by reason of its freedom from corrosion, gold plating has a wide application for the contacts of electronic components used in computers and elsewhere.