Sunday, May 20, 2007

One Good Turn - Book Review

I just finished reading One Good Turn- A Natural history of the Screwdriver and the Screw by Witold Rybcznski. It was a good read. It was easy to read, and had lots of interesting information in it. I particularly liked the style of writing in terms of showing the research that he did about the screw. As such, it highlights books, and artists and methodologies for conducting research. And not surprisingly, some of his research uses authors that I have used (or seen used) in technical theatre research as well. the books bibliography is worth keeping around for future research.

The book is thorough - it talks of tracing both written and visual sources back to the Greeks. There are sections on Robertson screws, and Phillips, and a bit about each of the people these screws are named after. It also discusses the manufacture of screws and the development of the lathes that are used. I also liked seeing some of the early uses - in armor, in weapons, and for water extraction.

Also interesting was the book talked about how to draw a helix around a column or tube using a right angle triangle. Obvious after I have seen it, but not something I had thought about previously.

Check the book out - The screw has had a pretty interesting history.

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