Inuit girl with a broad plank snow shovel, Stefansson-Anderson Arctic Expedition, Coronation Gulf, Nunavut [PA-165738]
A hand tool is any tool that is controlled by the human hand alone. Stone Age tools fashioned from stone (sometimes wood) were used for hammering, cutting or digging.
Edna Boyd with a basket of ferns and a shovel, Bala, Ontario [PA-070891]
As societies entered the Bronze Age, tools were made by casting copper and tin alloys together. These tools were sharper and harder than those made of stone.
A man using an ice axe, British Columbia [e011175725]
Iron replaced bronze during the Iron Age. These tools were even stronger and durable than their bronze counterparts. Many tools developed during this period resemble tools produced today. A small number of craftspeople manufactured these tools, which limited their spread and use by many people.
The industrial revolution enabled tools to be manufactured in factories. Greater numbers of tools could be produced using heavy machinery. This made them more accessible to the general population, lowered their price, and became more common in households.
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