Conducting Black Operations in the Corporate IT Theatre
I designed the T-shirt after loads of people kept emailing me
asking/demanding/pleading for a design which was backgrounded on black. The
image was produced with Paint Shop Pro 5 using the ITC Garamond and Gill Sans MT
Truetype fonts and a bit of time and effort.
Whenever possible the T-shirts upon which the image is laser printed is usually
a Screen Stars (Fruit of the Loom) or Jerzee 363 type. Fairly heavy cotton, it
shouldn't need ironing if you dry it by hanging it over something.
The simple screwdriver was preceded by a flat-bladed bit for the carpenter's
brace (1744). The handled screwdriver is shown on the woodworker's bench after
1800 and appears in inventories of tool kits from that date. Screwdrivers did
not become common tools until 1850 when automatic screw machines began the mass
production of tapered, gimlet-pointed wood screws. In its early form, the
screwdriver was made from flat stock; its sometimes scalloped edges contributed
nothing to function. Being flat, the blade was easy to haft but weak when
improperly used for prying. The present form of the screwdriver, round and
flattened only at the end, was devised to strengthen the shaft and make use of
readily available round-wire stock.
But the screwdriver's origins are much older than this. One noted author and
university professor, Witold Rybczynski has written a well-crafted, thoroughly
researched book: "One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the
Screw" (Scribner, 173-pages, $22). It is a relatively quick, easy, enlightening
and entertaining read from which you will surface with a greater understanding
of mechanical genius ... and the humble screwdriver.
His was a most scholarly undertaking, although it sprang from an editor's
request for a magazine article about "the best tool of the millennium." He
mulled over -- and rejected -- handsaws, chisels, planes, drills (not even
considering the portable electric driver-drill) and was in a quandary until his
wife suggested: "You always need a screwdriver for something."
He knew she'd hit the screw right on the slotted head. Rybczynski doesn't
even try to explain why women, particularly wives, seem always able to see
the obvious solution. Sorta makes me think that a woman probably invented
that portable electric driver-drill. But smart fellow that he is, Rybczynski
takes her suggestion and runs with it.
And in a wonderful bit of scholarly archaeology, he began seeking and sifting
through old, even ancient resources, spending time in museums, rare-book
rooms, tool shops and poring over old handwritten manuscripts and drawings.
Back through the centuries, 18th, 17th, 16th and 15th, where in the lattermost
he discovered drawings of armorers' tools that included obvious screwdriver
The turning of the screw research went even further, back to Archimedes and,
later, Leonardo. And while noting that most mechanical innovations sprang
from a need, such as ways to fasten together steel armor or to hold iron to
wood, what evolves out of his research are brilliant examples of mechanical
In his backward unscrewing of mechanical history, Rybczynski discovers a
drawing of a screw-cutting lathe in "The Medieval Housebook of Wolfegg
Castle," circa 1475-90. And in it, off to one side of the workbench-lathe, is
what he assumes must be the first dedicated, sole-purpose screwdriver.
A tad earlier, Archimedes -- whom you and I remember as the fellow who ran
naked through the streets shouting "Eureka" after devising the
water-displacement measurement of gold in a ceremonial wreath -- invented a
water screw, a device for lifting water. He was born in the Greek city-state of
Syracuse on the island of Sicily, long before there were patents or even
Every bit as fascinating is Rybczynski's exposition of modern screw
developments, including how brothers Job and William Wyatt of Staffordshire,
England, developed machinery to make screws, which until then were pretty
much handmade. Twenty years before the Civil War, Cullen Whipple, a
mechanic from Providence, R.I., invented an entirely mechanical means of
Canadian Peter Robertson, a young pitchman for an American screw
company, later invented the square-socket-head screw, which remains one of
my favorites because it holds firmly onto the bit and can be driven with one
hand -- without the screwdriver camming off to one side. Also noted is a
Portland, Ore., fellow, Henry F. Phillips, who improved on another guy's
cruciform screw head slot configuration, giving us what today is still commonly
called, and used as, the Phillips screw.
Regulating screws, which gave machinists the means of making precision tools,
also were part of the screw's evolution. In the 18th century, American and
British machining geniuses invented and made regulating screws that allowed
precision machining of large metal items. They built micrometers able to
measure within one-millionth of an inch.
Taken from http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/hahn/hahn207.shtml
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