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I mean, the book starts with the fossilized teeth of early humans However, if you are interested in the intersection of technology with culture, I think you'd like this book. Mar 05, Cassie Eacker rated it liked it Shelves: Book 18 completed for Book Riot Challenge: So it was very interesting learning of the history and manufacturing and such, but the book itself read like a liberal arts college student's term paper on a subject that doesn't relate at all to their major.

There was a lot of research involved, sure, but the writing style seemed Book 18 completed for Book Riot Challenge: There was a lot of research involved, sure, but the writing style seemed to be forced together to connect thoughts and quotes and relevancy. Nov 06, Pierre Lauzon rated it did not like it. Technology and Culture is the twelfth Henry Petroski book I have read so you can tell I am a long-term fan of his writing.

I expected The Toothpick to be something of a sequel to his more famous tome, The Pencil. I think there are a lot of better Henry Petroski books to read before delving into The Toothpick. Jul 26, Emilie rated it liked it Shelves: It's hard to describe the ideal reader for this book.

The Toothpick: Technology and Culture - Henry Petroski - Google Книги

It has a lot of history, which I found interesting, but it also some engineering-related descriptions that I found difficult to follow more pictures would have been nice. I also found a little redundant at times and thought he could have left out some of the detail. But it's certainly different and had lot of interesting information, and you can't deny his enthusiasm for the subject.

Nov 20, Phil Breidenbach rated it liked it. While he did come up with some interesting facts and stories about I have to hand it to Henry for his fact finding skills. I have read a couple of his books, The Pencil, a lot like this one, and The Book on the Bookshelf, a book I could really relate to! This book was so-so Mar 30, Matthew Philips rated it it was ok. I can't help but question if this is a book-worthy subject. It really just felt like a way too long research paper with some interesting or amusing factoids thrown in.

I love a toothpick and will continue to use them for numerous tasks in addition to their designated purpose but this book just wasn't necessary. Jul 23, Margaret Sankey rated it liked it. Yes, someone wrote a social history of the tooth-pick, and it is more interesting than you thought--the industry that grew up around making them commercially in New England, the patents, the marketing opportunities in distributing them as freebies with paper packaging, etiquette questions, choking hazards Apr 06, Emily marked it as to-read. What are the chances that my library will actually have a book that is exclusively about toothpicks?

Also, what are the odds that you could have a friend who is nerdy enough to be interested in a book exclusively about toothpicks? Jun 07, Coral rated it it was ok Shelves: It was just much, much more in-depth than I needed it to be. I was looking for something with more of a How It's Made bent than a full-blown history book.

Apr 07, Rachel rated it it was ok. Books that explore a particular common object within its cultural, historical, and technological context are popular right now. It's quite interesting when done properly. Unfortunately, this book was both exhaustive and exhausting. I would have liked it better at half the size, I think.

May 29, Lanangbentara rated it liked it. Nov 19, Cheri added it. Petroski can find fascinating details in darn near anything, so I shouldn't have been surprised at how enjoyable this exploration of the humble toothpick was.

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Jan 03, Alan Perry rated it liked it. Lots of interesting points made in a disconnected and uninteresting manner. Apr 12, Charles rated it liked it. I often thought I was a victim of an elaborate practical joke designed to see who would actually finish the book, but I love Petrovsky's writing and I marvel at the thoroughness of his research.

The Toothpick

Feb 05, Jen rated it really liked it. I should have assumed that an object so commonly used would have such a rich history with such interesting stories. I now know more about toothpicks than any sane person has any reason to know. Nov 23, Carl rated it it was ok Shelves: Too much business culture and not enough technology for an entire book. Dec 01, Stephanie marked it as to-read. Petroski has written a number of books on the design of everyday objects.

I'm particularly interested in this because Maine was the toothpick capital of the world at one time! Nov 12, Steve rated it it was amazing. How could you resist learning everything there is to know in appropriately minute detail about the genesis and bright future of the toothpick? Jan 07, Corey rated it did not like it. Sigh, after 60 pages of aimless meandering thru various anecdotes all of which are vaguely connected at best about toothpicks Jul 14, Dave rated it it was ok. I loved his "The Pencil" and most of the rest of his work. According my wife they're all part of my "Boring Book of the Month" club but this one got really dry, even for me.

Minardi rated it really liked it Mar 27, Raymond B Manley rated it it was amazing Nov 08, Claudia rated it liked it Aug 14, Cooley, of Granville, Massachusetts. As odds would have it, on the same date, in the same year, Luther Crowell was given a patent for a paper bag manufacturing machine. He is said to have invented the square bottom brown paper bag and the machinery to produce it.

The one thing I have discovered while preparing these pages for Months of Edible Celebrations, is that history does not always agree with history. To find out more about the patents associated with the square bottom paper bag, checkout food check-out day listed in resources. Charles Forster of Strong, Maine, is believed to be the first American to manufacture toothpicks.


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His first were handmade, but by , he had to devise machines to keep up with the growing demand. The toothpick making machine allowed blocks of wood to be cut into toothpicks. A complete toothpick machine system would include a veneer lathe, six cutting machines, one drying oven, and one straightening and box filling machine.

Throughout history, toothpicks were made out of numerous materials including ivory, porcupine quill, chicken bones, gold, silver steel and yes, even wood. Legend would have it, that he sent a sample box home to his wife who showed them around. Foster had orders for more, especially from hotels and restaurants. He set up a factory in Strong, Maine and machinery was developed to peel blocks of wood into long, thin ribbons.

These ribbons were cut into toothpicks, which were moved by pitchfork into the sun to dry like hay.

How Culture and Technology Create One Another: Ramesh Srinivasan at TEDxUCLA

Then they were sorted and packed by hand. The toothpicks were constructed of only the finest polished white birch. In it's heyday, the toothpick manufacturing plant used about 1, cords of birch and poplar. How many toothpicks is that you ask? According to Smithsonian Magazine, Forster created a market for disposable toothpicks by having Harvard students eat at local restaurants, then loudly demand a toothpick after finishing their meals.

Unfortunately, "The Toothpick Capital of the World" rolled out their last toothpick on April 29, I guess they're making toothpicks in Japan: The toothpick has been around longer than our species.