If you're a regular visitor to my blog, you know that I have a curious mind, and I'm fascinated by how things work, or how they came to be in the first place. After finding the screw pictured in my desk drawer the other day, I decided to find out how this important piece of mechanics was born. Come learn with me!

If you stop and think about, screws (and their cousins, nuts and bolts) are a pretty important part of our lives. The chair your sitting in right now; held together by screws. The walls that surround you, and the frame of the car you drive; they stay together thanks to the almighty screw.

While they may look like something invented a few hundred years ago during the Industrial Revolution, their origin is believed to date as far back as 300 B.C. in the Mediterranean area of the world when they were much larger and used as a method to extract water for irrigation. With this method, the spiral groove of the screw was used as a channel to bring water up from a particular source such as a lake, river, ocean, whatever.

It wasn't until the 1800's that the screw was used to actually hold things together. Like most things it wasn't a perfect system at first as everyone created their own screws for their specific needs. For example, if a ship building company built a boat then sold it off to whoever needed to buy a ship, if the new owner needed to replace a part, they couldn't just go to the local General Store and get a screw that worked. Remember, this was WAY before the days of UPS and FedEx so they couldn't exactly order the part and have it in two days. It wasn't until a guy by the name of Joseph Whithworth created the universal system of sizes and threads still in use today.

So there you have it, a condensed history of the all-powerful screw. While I'm not sure how they were forged during their infancy, I do know that today's mass produced method is pretty impressive.