Did Monkeys Invent The Monkey Wrench

( 1 )

Overview

Vince Staten, a man raised in a hardware store is offering not only a tour of that mechanical mecca but answers to the questions that have plagued humankind from time immemorial as well. Here, you'll finally discover whether or not the Swiss Army knife is really Swiss. You'll find the answers to essential questions like if cement is 7,000 years old why isn't the entire planet paved? Can you cook a duck in duck tape? Did monkeys invent the monkey wrench? And is there anything that Super Glue won't stick to? Yes, ...
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Overview

Vince Staten, a man raised in a hardware store is offering not only a tour of that mechanical mecca but answers to the questions that have plagued humankind from time immemorial as well. Here, you'll finally discover whether or not the Swiss Army knife is really Swiss. You'll find the answers to essential questions like if cement is 7,000 years old why isn't the entire planet paved? Can you cook a duck in duck tape? Did monkeys invent the monkey wrench? And is there anything that Super Glue won't stick to? Yes, in this book you'll discover the secret history of all the things that hold your house together, and where all the tools that you ever dreamed of having came from.
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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684832746
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/5/1997
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 0.55 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Buying Quality Merchandise 11
Ch. 2 Tool Department: Hand Tools, Power Tools 35
Ch. 3 Paint and Decorating Department: Floor Coverings, Wall Coverings 69
Ch. 4 Lumber, Miscellaneous 85
Ch. 5 Electric Supplies Department: Lightbulbs, Batteries, Wire, Conduit 95
Ch. 6 Plumbing Department 113
Ch. 7 Fasteners Department: Nails, Nuts, Bolts, Screws 125
Ch. 8 Wood and Wood Products 139
Ch. 9 Building Supplies Department: Caulks, Coatings, and Sealings 149
Ch. 10 Door Accessories Department: Locks, Hinges 161
Ch. 11 Adhesives Department: Tapes, Glues 169
Ch. 12 Lawn and Garden Department: Lawn Tools 177
Ch. 13 Housewares Department 209
Ch. 14 Closing Time 221
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