Used since ancient times even though then, not as widespread as other metals.
Ancient metallurgists trained in the refining of metals, they knew the properties of Copper to make alloys with other metals. Among these was Zinc. Confirmed by analyses of bronze and brass objects from 1150 BC.
Zinc manufacturing dates back to at least a few centuries BC.
Discovery of a plate in the Acropolis in Greece containing 98.5% Zinc. By 1000 AD, the Chinese were producing Zinc.
The first European to classify Zinc as a metal was Paracelsus, in the XVI century, he also named it.
The first Zinc foundry was built in 1743, but production on an industrial scale started during the XIX century.