In the classic science fiction film ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ there is a short scene that captures the essence of the following historical discussion. It occurs when an ‘apeman’ throws a bone into the air in triumph after he has discovered its ‘usefulness as a weapon. As the bone spins into the air it is transformed by the camera into a rotating space station ‘waltzing’ to the strains of The Blue Danube’. Whether or not the apeman creature is a valid representation of early man the imagery is powerful. The word ‘tool’ comes from the Old Norse ‘tol’ meaning ‘weapon’. From the first use of simple primitive tools for weapons and for cutting and crushing, man has developed the manufacturing technology and culture of today.
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