The steel pan instrument emerged on the island of Trinidad as part of the music culture in the early 1930s. While there are many innovators who are credited with improving the steel pan, there are no individuals who are recognized for creating it.
The steel pan was developed in response to the banning of various Trinidadian musical instruments, such as the traditional stick-and-drums and the tamboo-bamboo, by the British colonial government. The steel pan has deep roots in musical history. It was carried from Martinique to the island of Trinidad by the first wave of slaves during the French Revolution in 1789.