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One Good Turn - A natural history of the screwdriver and the screw

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Aimed strongly at the Longitude market, One Good Turn - A natural history of the screwdriver and the screw, is written by Witold Rybczynski, a pukka US architectural historian. He muses on his own collection of tools (this is a man who built a house using only hand tools) before rambling through history. He discusses the acceptance of the word 'tournevis' by the Academie Francaise in 1740, the fixing of the breastplate in the Dresden suit of jousting armour, and the invention of the Phillips screw. Although Rybczynski admits the screwdriver is 'hardly poetic', he does his best to prove himself wrong, musing on its role in the development of printing and explaining that the turning of screws was a genteel pastime for eighteenth century gentlemen.

Definitely a book for the enthusiast, this would make a much quieter present than the latest from Black & Decker.

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