The first tape measure was made from leftover wire used for hoop skirts—offering an early, if unconventional, example of recycling.
The idea of the level was first implemented by the Egyptians in 1100 B.C. A board with a hole full of water allowed ancient builders to see if the surface sloshed to the side or was on the level.
The screwdriver dates back to the 15th century, when screws were first used as fasteners for medieval jousting armor. Tally-ho!
The history of hand tools, specifically pliers, dates back to the Stone Age. Early humans used two crossed bones to protect their hands and grip heavy objects.
Originally marketed as the “poor man’s answer to plaster walls,” drywall didn’t become popular until the 1950s post-war baby boom when the desire for more idealized living space grew exponentially.
The earliest recorded instance of sandpaper dates back to 13th century China, where shells, seeds, and sand were glued to parchment with natural gum.
Invented at the end of the 18th century to convert logs into lumber, the circular saw revolutionized the timber industry. The rotary nature of the blade requires more power to operate but cuts faster because the teeth are in constant motion.
Created in the 1840s by a blacksmith, it became so popular he had to convert his shop into a factory to keep up with demand.