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Tools are probably as old as mankind itself. Humans have always made and utilized a variety of assistive devices and used them for their own purposes, which is considered to be the biggest difference between us and other species. How did the first tool come about?

History of Tools Through Human's Development

Aug. 17 , 2022

How did the first tool come about? Some anthropologists believe that the beginning of this mysterious story dates back to prehistoric times, when the ancestors of man had already learned to use stones for purpose. This is believed to be the origin of tool history.

Tools are probably as old as mankind itself. Humans have always made and utilized a variety of assistive devices and used them for their own purposes, which is considered to be the biggest difference between us and other species.

Today, with this article, we will introduce you to the history of tools, and how they have changed.

The Beginnings of Hand ToolsHistory of Tools

The word tool first appeared in the 12th century. Even though it was created just a few hundred years ago, tools have been with mankind from prehistoric times until today.

Back then tools were certainly much simpler than they are today, but they still provided considerable benefits to humans. The earliest tools were made of stone and wood. These early stone tools were developed at least 2.6 million years ago and were used primarily for hunting and survival. Even back then, our ancestors exploited raw materials to a considerable extent. For example, tree branches were sharpened and used as spears.

The process of tool making was initially evolved in the Bronze Age - out of the need to develop agriculture at the time when mankind began to develop.In the Iron Age, man began to make more durable tools, mainly in connection with the discovery of iron. From that time on, this material could be used effectively for making tools and weapons.

This was followed by a rapid development of the tool-making industry, which continued in a more precise and rapid manner.

Evolution of Hand Tools

In principle, historians consider "hand tools" to be and only those tools that require human intervention.  

The date of creation of the first hand tools cannot be determined, but we believe it was sometime during the Neolithic. When primitive people wanted to break something in some way, a heavy stone with a wooden stick, a hammer was born.

The hammer is among the most basic hand tools, utilizing a vertical force. Tools based on vertical force are called tools of the first family, which is called the first hand tools. Through evolution, we got different types of hammers from it.

Then comes the second family of tools, which are cutting tools. Initially awls and needles evolved into knives, which in turn evolved into cutting weapons (swords, daggers, etc.). In the more specific field of tools, the knife is the origin of the scissors (a combination of two knives). The application of teeth to the blade of a knife to increase its penetrating power when cutting created the first saw.

The third family is the lever tool. The lever is one of the simplest tools and its origin can be traced back to prehistoric times. A common representative of this class of tools is the shovel, which uses the principle of leverage to amplify the force exerted by the user, thus accomplishing some tasks that cannot be done with bare hands.

The shovel was a great advance in performing agricultural tasks and from it came the harrow, the hoe and even the plow. Pliers and wrenches also utilized the same principle.

The later discovery of the rotational movement of the body around an axis gave rise to a fourth family of tools: the roller, the wheel, and later the gear and pulley. Today, rotation is an essential element in the operation of numerous power and hand tools (drills, circular saws, etc.).


Modern Tools

Tools Today

Today, there are countless types of tools available, and they don't stop evolving. Some classic hand tools continue to improve in detail and versatility, and there are always impressive new technologies in the field of power tools. The history of tools is still far from the end.


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