As a late Christmas present to myself I bought a copy of Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design by Paola Antonelli the Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Each page is devoted to a design classic and I am still working my way through. However I have already come across two of my favourite items.
On the very first page is the Swiss Army Knife which I first came across back in my Scouting days. I have owned one ever since and always take it on my travels. There are now over one hundred different models to choose from, including one with a USB computer storage chip. My favourite has always been one of the simplest (see photo). I have only just discovered it is called the Spartan, which is very apt given my youthful Scouting experiences.
The other design classic is the Screwpull Corkscrew which surprisingly was invented as late as 1979. I have tried many different types of corkscrews over the years and have found nothing to touch the Screwpull. What makes it even better is the simple construction, light weight and low cost, which makes it ideal for pick nicks. The key to it’s success is the Teflon-coated helical screw which enables the screw to penetrate the cork and then pull it out of the bottle in one continuous action.
By a strange quirk of fate, the copy of the book which arrived from Amazon’s used books service originally belonged to Gwinnett County Public Library in Lawrenceville, Georgia in the United States, and still has a security tag in the back. I can only assume it did not prove to be a popular item, and to use a librarian’s term was de-accessioned.