Quotation by Stuart Chase

The learned professors have been at considerable pains in their attempts to make a distinction between tools and implements on the one hand, and machinery on the other. Nor have they arrived much of anywhere. The one is continually shading into the other. Here is an ordinary shovel used by a day labourer in a ditch; here is the same shovel with a somewhat thicker handle, containing a pneumatic attachment which is said to improve its digging power; here is a very much larger shovel with curved ends and steel teeth, hitched to an arm that is hitched to a steam engine, which can gobble up a cartload of dirt at one mouthful. Where does the tool stop and the machine begin? A grindstone is widely held to be a primitive tool; a turret lathe is widely held to be a machine. Both spin around. What is the essential difference? The employment of nonhuman power, steam, oil, gas, has been defined as the difference. Well and good. Then everything worked by human hands and legs is a tool only, and bicycles, typewriters, adding machines, sewing machines, foot lathes, clocks, hand-pumps—are not machines. Which is absurd. And what is one to do with treadmills for grinding corn, whose motive power is said by some to be the donkey, and by some the carrot in front of his nose?
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