Does the piccolo resemble the flutes of old?
The piccolo is around half the length of the flute and uses the same fingering techniques. At first glance, the piccolo looks like a miniature replica of the flute. On closer inspection, however, various differences are evident. First, there is the material used for the body. While most flutes are made of metal, nowadays almost all piccolos are made of wood. This is because the piccolo has a higher register, and metal instruments would sound too piercing. Second, the main tube of the piccolo is cone-shaped, tapering off toward the tip. The flute used to be the same shape, until Theobald Boehm adopted the fixed-thickness cylinder in the nineteenth century, establishing this new shape. However, the tapered shape is more suitable for the register of the piccolo. Finally, there is the embouchure hole. The type of embouchure hole normally used on the piccolo today has no lip plate.
All these features make the piccolo look like the flute of yesteryear.
(Reference material: "Starting to Play an Instrument-the Flute and the Trumpet" Yamaha Music Media)