Who Invented The Screwdriver

screwdriverIt is a long-standing household tool that can make the task of fixing an item to a solid surface a lot more stress-free, and while many people will feel that they can do the same job with any pointed object in the right dimensions, a screwdriver is undoubtedly the best fit for the objective that it was made to fulfil. But who was it that first came up with one?

While the screw (a ‘conical helix’-shaped device for penetrating solid surfaces in an less damaging manner) had been around for quite some time (with its origins dating back to Ancient Greece and the historic engineer Archemedes), it was not until the late 15th-century that a way to control them more efficiently was developed, a hand-held metal device that was shaped to match an implant in the flat head of the screw, generally the straightforward ‘flathead design’, the basis of a shape still applied today.

While the exact date or founder is unknown, information on the screwdriver was first published in a manuscript (The Medieval Housebook of Wolfegg Castle) dated between 1475-1490, with claims that the design came from either Germany (schraubendreher [screwturner]) or France ( tournevis [turnscrew]).

Since that point, there has not been much development in the area of screwdrivers aside from more refined and supportive shapes (such as the Philips or Robertson head screwdriver designs), sizes to match varying screws, or making it motorised or automatic for the tougher screwing jobs, but a cheap, modern basic version of the device (flathead) is generally an item which could be found in any household in the developed world, sometimes even applying a purpose away from screws. An in-depth review of the history of the screwdriver can be seen below:

Screwdriver – Wikipedia

Who Invented Planking

It is not an item, or an invention of sorts, but the craze of ‘planking’ was strangely a big cultural emergence of 2011, with ‘plankers’ taking to Facebook and YouTube with their ‘acheivements’ in laying-down. Regardless of its absurdity, though, all things seem to have an origin, so who was the ‘inventor’ of planking?

planking_bollardWhile the ‘act’ of pretending to be a plank of wood (done by lying face-down and rigidly in a crowded or unusual location), only broke out under its current name last year (with the term originating from Australia), a number of people or groups lay claim to having founded it.

A number of these (one from South Korea in 2003 (‘playing dead game’), France in 2004 (‘a plat venre’ – on one’s belly), and Australia in 2008 (extreme lying down)) can be noted as just renaming or re-launching the craze, with the earliest dated claim coming from Canadian comedian Tom Green, who believes that it was his original idea back in 1994.

Whether or not it was true, ‘planking’ began to take off with the world of social networking, as English pair Gary Langdon & Christian Clarkson set up a Facebook page for ‘the lying down game’ in 2006, when the movement (or lack of) started to take off (and at the time of writing has around 100,000 ‘fans’ worldwide compared to over 175,000 for the ‘Planking Australia’ page set up in 2011), although the duo claim to have started ‘planking’ with each other in 2000, and are also said to hold the official copyright papers to the ‘The Official Lying Down Game’.

While it is unknown how long ‘planking’ will remain popular for amongst people who have little in the brain cells department, it can be laughed at by non-participants even in its prime, as this compilation video of the best ‘plankers’ demonstrates: