The Toaster Project: Or A Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch

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Chronicle Books, Mar 20, 2012 - Art - 192 pages
2 Reviews
"Hello, my name is Thomas Thwaites, and I have made a toaster." So begins The Toaster Project, the author's nine-month-long journey from his local appliance store to remote mines in the UK to his mother's backyard, where he creates a crude foundry. Along the way, he learns that an ordinary toaster is made up of 404 separate parts, that the best way to smelt metal at home is by using a method found in a fifteenth-century treatise, and that plastic is almost impossible to make from scratch. In the end, Thwaites's homemade toaster—a haunting and strangely beautiful object—cost 250 times more than the toaster he bought at the store and involved close to two thousand miles of travel to some of Britain's remotest locations. The Toaster Project may seem foolish, even insane. Yet, Thwaites's quixotic tale, told with self-deprecating wit, helps us reflect on the costs and perils of our cheap consumer culture, and in so doing reveals much about the organization of the modern world.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MichaelDC - LibraryThing

Interesting premise, and a quick and fun read, about the various impacts (environmental, economic, labor, etc.) of mass production. There is some science here, particularly in the hilarious chapter in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tammydotts - LibraryThing

Think about a toaster for a second. Doesn’t seem all that complicated. Could you build one? If you had all the pieces – body, wires, levers, etc. – could you put together a toaster? Probably ... Read full review

Contents

Foreword
9
Preface
13
Deconstruction
16
Steel
44
Mica
88
Plastic
100
Copper
134
Nickel
156
Construction
166
Acknowledgments
187
Bibliography
190
Image credits
191
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