In response to our latest search featuring REXON’s quest for new innovations in power tools, winches and hoists, we’ve decided to explore the history behind tools’ evolution.
DAWN OF TOOLS
The evolution of humans and their use of tools seem to run parallel. Let’s begin with the Oldowan or the age the first set of stone tools was created. Dating back close to 3 million years ago, they were discovered in Ethiopia, the cradle of civilization. During the Oldowan, tools consisted of rocks about the size of your hand used for pounding and sharp flakes (knives) made when pieces of flint, obsidian or quartz were knocked off by being struck with hard stones.
Leap ahead to the Acheulean period when rocks and their jagged siblings took on a more sophisticated look and form. Here is where roughly shaped hand axes and cleavers were introduced. Early hominids have given way to Homo erectus and along with the ability to walk upright also comes the necessity to carry tools instead of chucking after use. Sadly, tool belts are still at least a million years away …
However, the advent of fire wasn’t that far off. And where there’s fire, there’s sparks as in brain cells beginning to fire a little more often. With cognitive development on the rise along with better access to food and cooking thanks to tool progression, it’s a small step forward into modern innovations.
TOOLS WITH A LITTLE POWER
Flash forward through shelters, art, weapons, clothing, domestication of animals, the dissolution of Pangaea and world travel … the year is 1895. Boundless advances have transpired to bring us into the modern era of humanity: mathematics, science, gunpowder and the initiation of the Industrial Revolution. We achieved a lot and the only limitations to getting the job done were strength and endurance.
Enter German engineering company C&E Fein. Their plan was to enhance the manual drill by adding the power of an electric motor. And in doing so, Fein created the very first power tool. It wasn’t a resounding success, weighing in at 16.5 pounds and run with a weak motor that was inefficient at drilling.
Video of one of the world’s first power tools:
This paved the way for more innovative methods of improving productivity and the unwieldy design. Duncan Black and his partner Alonzo Decker took up the cause and in 1916 had managed to produce a lighter version that modified the grip of a Colt .45 automatic pistol. The Black & Decker electric drill became the predecessor for all modern handheld electric drills.
Whether you’re creating new tool ideas for REXON or just tinkering in your home workshop, never forget just how far new innovation has brought us. As our ancient ancestors made use of what they had to make a better way for their tribes, we can do the same for our fellow man. It may not lead to as drastic a change as the invention of tools made to humanity’s survival, however, every step forward in making life easier is definitely a step in the right direction.
If this inspired your next idea, submit your tool ideas to the Rexon search now!