Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton
ralphmelton

Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench?

After playing minature golf, we decided to make a lazy day of it and drive a bit of the Green Belt to get home. This involved some driving among the very nice houses of Fox Chapel.

On the way, we stopped at a bookstore/coffee shop called The Book Cafe. It was so-so as a bookstore; it seemed to have a selection little better than a used bookstore, but it had new-book prices. But it had a lovely atmosphere, with lots of nice art and lovely shelves; I could easily imagine sipping tea and reading there.

I got three Perry Mason books that I hadn't read, which was a pleasant discovery. As I was checking out, then, I noticed a book called Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench? (by Vince Staten), about hardware stores and the products they carry. On an impulse, I bought it.

I've enjoyed reading it a lot over the past few days. It tells lots of entertaining stories about hardware, like the invention of the Phillips screw, or of Black and Decker's invention of the pistol-grip drill. I am seriously considering giving it to my father-in-law and/or my father as a Christmas present.

On the down side, it's an extremely fast read; I probably read the whole thing in less than five hours. But pleasant all the way through.
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