But lo! men have become the tools of their tools. The man who independently plucked the fruits when he was hungry is become a farmer; and he who stood under a tree for shelter, a housekeeper.
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden; or, Life in the Woods (Ticknor and Fields, 1854, p. 41)

This quote from Walden becomes even more fascinating when one realizes that the Thoreau family business was manufacturing pencils at John Thoreau & Co., one of the first major pencil companies in the United States. Thoreau’s father was the titular John and Henry David worked in the factory and improved upon the hardness of their graphite.

One might also then say that the man who manufactured pencils naturally should become a writer!

This quote also bears some interesting resemblance to quotes about tools which shape us by Winston Churchill and John M. Culkin. see: https://hypothes.is/a/6Znx6MiMEeu3ljcVBsKNOw

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich