|May 1965 Popular Mechanics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early
mechanics and electronics. See articles from
published continuously since 1902. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Craftsman mechanical screwdriver.
We take a lot of
conveniences for granted these days. They are so commonplace that we don't even
consider that the features have not always been available. Your age, of course,
plays a part in it. For instance, a
might be shocked to learn that at the time he was born a cellphone only
performed the function of a telephone. A
might assume the air bags and anti-lock brakes on car she drives have been there
since Henry Ford shipped his first Model T (Henry who? Model what?) and
shuddered to think about not having a personal computer and dial-up Internet
figured cable TV and MTV had always been how entertainment was delivered, and
that a Walkman was the transistorized version of those vacuum tube devices their
parents used to carry while jogging. Baby
Boomers, of which I am a member, actually used electric drills which had
merely an on/off switch, with no variable speed. Having been born in 1958, I was
only seven years old when Skil Power Tools* came out with what is pitched in this
1965 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine as the world's first variable
speed power drill. My father, who was not a big power tool guy (he had mainly a
hand saw for cutting wood and metal, a brace and bit for drilling holes, a block
of wood with sandpaper stapled to it for sanding, and a good set of lungs for an
air compressor when something needed to be blown off. He also had one of those
mechanical screwdrivers with the spiral groves in the shank.
* Still in business as a subsidiary of a Chinese company.
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To Match the Material
You get stepless speed control to drill plastics, composition materials, wood
or metal by varying finger pressure. No buttons or dials to fool with.
To Drill Holes in Metal Without Center Punching
Start with light trigger pressure which keeps rpm low, makes bit placing easy
- even on convex surfaces.
To Drive Screws to Exact Depth
Exchange drill bit for driver bit, drive screws to exact depth you want. Even
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Posted February 7, 2024