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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

How strange am I?

My husband gave me more presents today. (He's getting steak for dinner as an extra present tonight.) One is the natural history of the screw and screwdriver.

I jumped up and down when I found it.

My goodness, doesn't it sound absolutely fascinating? Just - it's one of the few entirely modern unpowered tools we have and just to see how it developed (my theory - the ability to make threads came first, and then the screw and then finally the screwdriver. Either that or it evolved from the drill. Either way, it should be fun to find out) is cool.


Or am I strange?


But I thought the screw existed since ancient times, like since Ancient Greece or something like that, but it was just too much effort to produce them in pre-industrialized times, so all through the middle ages and later there just weren't many of them but they existed?

See, this is my guess.

But the screwdriver apparently was invented in the 19th C.

I guess when you just have few screws, and probably not that many small ones, screwdrivers just aren't necessary. But I agree that the history of the screw is interesting. Then again I like history of sciences and technology in general.

Not weird at all. I'd be all over a book like that. Gimme those obscure facts!

Sounds nifty. What's the author and title?

And if you like that, have you read Henry Petroski's The Book on the bookshelf? It's a history of book storage technologies -- from buckets and wall-niches for holding scrolls through modern library construction. I found it utterly fascinating, and notice things I learned in that book whenever I enter an old library (which, living in Massachusetts, happens a lot). [It was a real design challenge before electricity, to keep the stacks well-lit enough to find/shelve books without fading them or risking a fire.]

I love Henry Petroski. I've read every book by him I could find - including that one - and it was indeed utterly fascinating. Those chained libraries...

It's this book. Only in paperback. I also have his book on building his own house by hand. Can't wait to read that, either.

Why can't you be right *and* strange?

Speaking of screws and screwdrivers, I noticed something interesting the other day. I have an antique dining table and chairs (only two, sadly) that were originally owned by my g'g'grandmother. It was probably made ~1870. Some of the original wood fasteners on the chairs have modern looking screw heads--round, domed, and with a screwdriver-type slot in them. I know wooden fasteners have always been used, but wooden *screws*? It had never occurred to me before.

Cool and strange, definitely.

I'm curious to hear about it once you've delved...

The same kind of strange I am (in this way at least), because I'd be all over that one too. It always amazes me that most people just aren't tat curious.

Oh, I'd totally read that. I looooooove my toolbox. :-)


what is the cut for "real" kosher steak? i can't understand all the jewish names!