Did Monkeys Invent The Monkey Wrench by Vince Staten, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Did Monkeys Invent The Monkey Wrench

Did Monkeys Invent The Monkey Wrench

4.0 1
by Vince Staten
     
 
From the beloved author of Can You Trust a Tomato in January? comes a narrative romp through that great American institution--the hardware store. Behind every tool there is a useful history and a colorful anecdote. Vince Staten relates them all--from the origin of the hammer, chain saw, and drill bit (which built the vast Hughes fortune) to the role the shovel played

Overview

From the beloved author of Can You Trust a Tomato in January? comes a narrative romp through that great American institution--the hardware store. Behind every tool there is a useful history and a colorful anecdote. Vince Staten relates them all--from the origin of the hammer, chain saw, and drill bit (which built the vast Hughes fortune) to the role the shovel played in winning the West.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"The hardware store is to the average man what the dress or hat shop is to a woman," we are told here, but even men who are not average, and women too, will enjoy this compendium. Staten (Can You Trust a Tomato in January?) grew up working in his father's hardware emporium in Tennessee, but here he focuses on the shop of Ronnie Matthews in Winfield, West Virginia, after pointing out that a hardware store is not a do-it-yourself discount outlet or a home improvement center, but rather a place where customers can socialize or buy a single nail if they want. There is etymology in these pages (the monkey wrench was not invented by Charles Moncke or laborer "Monkey" White or monkeys), there is history (the ancient Egyptians invented locks) and there are dozens of amusing anecdotes. The reader will learn such interesting minutiae as the fact that 90% of Americans call duct tape "duck tape." There are also some clever sketches, and it all adds up to fun. (June)
Library Journal
To do-it-yourselfers, hardware stores are sacred ground, comfortable places to shoot the breeze and ocassionally buy a screw or two. Staten, who grew up working in his father's store, conveys the traditional "general store" quality of hardware stores (not to be confused with home centers). Staten alternates short sections discussing the history of a variety of tools and products with anecdotes about hardware stores and their employees. While there are some interesting stories, most are not particularly insightful (many involving a particularly individual would be interesting only if one knew him or her personally). This is unfortunate because, like the diner and the general store, old-time hardware stores seem to be destined to disappear, pushed aside by the newcomers. There is definitely a need for an interesting book on the subject, but librarians can pass on this title.-Jonathan N. Hershey, Akron-Summit Cty. P.L., Akron, Ohio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684832746
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
06/05/1997
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
0.55(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >