Why Every Invention is Either an iPhone or a Screwdriver

The Cracked Podcast #90 October 19, 2015

Screws, in some form or another, have been around since the 3rd century BC, and it wasn’t until the 1500s that screws began to start appearing in what we now accept as their modern form. They’re a great, simple piece of technology that helps solve the problem, ‘how do we secure this to that?’

Throughout all that time, however, there was just one problem: no one had invented the screwdriver yet. It’s true. People would spend entire lifetimes – generations would come and go – and all they could do to tighten a screw was use a coin or a flat piece of wood or something. It was like society as a whole had left their toolbox in the car but was too lazy to go out and get it.

For every screwdriver we also get an iPhone: a device that, in an instant, crammed the future into the present and forever changed the course of human history.

So there are screwdrivers, and then there are iPhones. Some came 300 years too late and others surprise us 300 years before we expect them. Jack O’Brien is joined by Cracked editors Tom Reimann and Alex Schmidt to discuss the many screwdrivers and iPhones of history that you may not know about.

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