Wood Quiz: Test Your Knowledge
Who invented the wood screw? Who won the first patent?
Answer: Archimedes (3rd century BC) and the Wyatts (18th century AD).
Early screws were made from wood. Evidence exists of a similar device used for irrigation in Egypt at an earlier date. The screw press, invented in Greece in the 1st or 2nd century BC, has been used since the days of the Roman Empire for pressing clothes, in wine and olive-oil presses, and cutters (taps) for cutting internal threads.
In 1760 England, Job and William Wyatt patented a design for a machine that could produce screws automatically. In 1770, English instrument maker, Jesse Ramsden (1735–1800) invented the first satisfactory screw-cutting lathe, and went on to inspire other inventors. In 1797, Englishman Henry Maudslay (1771–1831) invented a large screw-cutting lathe that made it possible to mass-produce accurately sized screws. In 1798, American machinist David Wilkinson (1771–1652) also invented machinery for the mass production of threaded metal screws. In the 1840’s, several American manufacturers received patents for machines that could produce a tapered thread.