It's Not Hoarding, it's History!

It's Not Hoarding, it's History!

Rock On!

by Randall Read on 12/21/11

Ask anyone what they think man's first tool was and odds are the answer will be, "A rock."




This rock is most likely the oldest tool in our collection. I know for sure that the rock is older than anything else we have, because, like when did they last make a rock? The question is; when was this particular rock made into a tool? My father found this tool in a riverbed in Arizona many moons ago.  It's incredibly smooth, like a river rock, but the sharpened edge didn't happen naturally as it tumbled downstream. It looks to be a hand axe; or maybe it was used by a young Native American to scrape an animal hide down at the creek, only to be left behind when he was distracted by a young maiden.   

Regardless of who made it or when, it is a nice example of the evolution of tool making. Rocks made effective hammers and scrapers and axes. Rocks were also the tools generally used to make other rock tools. Arrow and spear heads and knives, usually made of flint or obsidian were fashioned by striking the material with a rock. Rocks were also used for grinding and polishing other rocks; and later, with the bronze and iron ages, rocks were still used for this purpose.

When the use of bronze and iron became common, the need for stone as striking or cutting tools diminished. Today, stone or some derivative of it remains a prominent player as an abrasive or polishing tool.   

Growing up old

by Randall Read on 12/13/11

I've been blessed in my life to have been brought up surrounded by history. I didn't realize it when I was younger, but thankfully I paid attention. I realized early on how lucky I was to be surrounded by people who were willing to share their experiences and their pasts. Maybe because I was the boss's son, they had to tolerate me, but I like to think that I showed an interest that they appreciated.

My parents and their generation were young during the depression, but they too paid attention to what was going on around them. Learning a trade was paramount and nothing was ever wasted. Everything had a purpose, or you saved it and found a purpose for it later on. 

Most every carpenter my dad hired had the first tools they ever owned and probably their father's. Dad's appreciation for craftsmanship and the history behind it was engrained in me at an early age. His collection of tools and passing along his aquired knowledge of their use and the stories behind them, be they true or slightly embellished, has been a great gift.

It is this passing along of history that this blog is all about. As the custodian of this small part of the history of construction, wood working and the like, I would be remiss in not somehow relaying and sharing these items and the stories behind them. I hope that you find this blog and my ramblings of some interest and possible value. Either way, I will have done a little something to preserve and prolong a bit of history and if so inclined, I would invite you to comment and contribute as well.