Tools I inherit or collect — old tools, usually handtools — often feel like a comfortable antidote to the ever-increasing rate of planned obsolescence that typifies so much else of contemporary life. Much as I am usually pleased to get my new iPhone or a new car it’s a little discouraging to know that something I worked so hard for or saved up for so long is only going to be around for such a short time. I’ll never be able to enjoy the thought that I can pass these treasured marvels on to my children and grandchildren. If they even survive that long they will doubtless be looked upon with amusement. But I pick up a plane made a hundred years or more ago and I am pleased and grateful to have something that not only links me to my past but which also still improves my life.
However, looking at some of these things, I am also struck by the fact of my own obsolescence. They will certainly outlast me, as they have already outlasted previous owners. So the question arises, who owns what? Realising that I am little more than a temporary custodian I feel an increasing need and duty to pass things on while I might still have some say in the matter and avoid what would surely be a dereliction of duty if they were to come to an untimely and unseemly end while in my care.
Anybody want to take care of some extra tools?