Researchers think that humans have been using tools for four million years. There is no way to know this for sure, but it is definitely worth noting. In the beginning, humans started with crude wooden spears and other implements made from stones. They used the stones as spear tips and eventually learned to use the sharp end of a hard stone as a cutting surface. This allowed them to carve up game and clean hides, an important part of life so long ago.
As with so many things in life, the use of tools evolved over time. From crude stone cutting edges, men learned to carve stones into useful and sharp axe heads and polished stones with a variety of uses. Later on, around 1500 BC the smelting process of iron was discovered. This is not far back on the time scale of human evolution that has spanned so may millennia. Once Iron was discovered, this changed the game forever. Men could fashion tools and weapons from a durable and pliable material. The proliferation of tools took off from that point on.
Later on in history, other metals were discovered and tools became a vital part of our success as a species. Check out this brief timeline of various inventions. The Hattitites, as already mentioned discovered iron and this gave them a distinct advantage, especially in war. Around 1185 AD we have the first recorded use of windmills. They are ingenious when you really think about it. Advancement powers our prosperity as a species and propels us forward to this day.
In 1712, the first steam engine was invented. This was a huge advancement. Not only could men use metal, but they also learned to combine various parts and pieces to make a working whole. They learned to harness the force of steam to create power and locomotion. Not since the invention of the wheel, has something so significant taken place. Harnessing steam is what led to the industrial revolution that gives us the technologically advanced world we live in today.
When we look around the world today, it is hard to imagine that in a span of a couple of million years, we have come from crude stone tools to rockets that can take us to the moon. And it is doubly astonishing to think that the lion’s share of that advancement has taken place in the last three hundred years. If we were running at a steady pace for nearly two million years, in the last three hundred years, we have been sprinting.
Can you imagine what you would think of someone who refused to use a certain tool in whatever profession they choose? Imagine a carpenter who refuses to use a hammer. You would think him crazy and you would be right. If we want to be successful in our work, we have to avail ourselves of the best tools for the job.
I’m a writer and it is no different for me. My biggest tool is my imagination, but after that, I have to put my words on paper. I have used an old fashioned typewriter. It was crude and time consuming, frustrating to say the least. Thank goodness for laptops and Word programs. They correct my spelling, my grammar, and so much more. I would be stupid to neglect using this tool. Another tool that I have found more recently is a virtual assistant. I need to get my writing out to my reading public and in this day of internet domination; I would be remiss if I did not use the help of a qualified professional to get the job done.
I wonder what tool will be designed next, that will allow me to write more effectively and better myself in my chosen career. It is a novel idea and the sky seems to be the limit.