Tools Make Tools: The Europeans in the Colonial Era

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Tools are an essential aspect of production especially in arts and crafts. The use of tools has come a long way from prehistoric man. The advent of modern tools has been an aspect of improving on the old ones or developing new ones more suitable to the tasks. The world is rapidly changing in terms of technology. However, not all technology is changing at the same pace as others. Tools have undergone a lot of evolution over time and are diverse due to increased specialization to tasks. Tools are the first artifacts that marked civilization. The phrase Tools make Tools originates from the tendency of tools to be improved or new ones developed to handle the available tasks. Over time, tools improve to become other tools.

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Initially, artisans kept the secret of their tools away from the public domain due to fear of losing business if the knowledge was to spread. Most of the craftsmen invented the tools they used. They feared revealing the secrets of their invention would lose them business. Their fears were valid because back then there was no legal system that recognized intellectual property rights.

Tools were mainly named according to their function. An element that is not so much followed presently. For instance, the stool was known as the broad ass. A potter who got tired of having to sit while working and getting up all of the time to grab things created the design. It was a one-legged contraption that allowed him to swivel around and allowed him to conveniently reach the things he needed.

Silversmiths rarely had help in their workshops. As a necessity, they created a scissor apparatus that allowed them to keep the tool put with a blade inserted into a tree stump. Subsequently, they freed up a hand to cut the things they needed. Necessity was a driver of invention. The need for better tools drove the development of new or improved tools.

The saw was one of the most important inventions; appearing around 400 years ago in the Near East at the same time copper was discovered. The first saws were tall and required the efforts of two people; one at the top and one at the bottom to carry out the task. The dynamics of the needs of sawing presented problems to sawyers. The teeth needed for different jobs varied depending on the type of cut required. Initial saws required intense labor to cut down especially large trees and it was a challenge to split the huge trunks into timber. However, the need for specialized saws to carry out specific tasks led to improvement of existing saws and development of new ones; making true the phrase, Tools make Tools.

The axe was invented in the Stone Age. However, its refinement was especially prominent in the colonial era. Europeans put in a lot of work to make the axe more efficient. The two-edged axe came about as a way of easing and minimizing woodsmens trips back and forth from their homes to sharpen the axe, and then back to the worksite.

The Europeans in the colonial era were mainly concerned with exploiting natural resources in the colonies. It was therefore significant for the colonialists to develop tools to the most efficient capacity to cater to the needs of exploitation of resources in the colonies. The colonies were exploited for resources to feed industrial growth in the colonizing country. The tools were made efficient to cater to the increased need to obtain more resources from the colonies by the European powers.

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