First of a weekly series celebrating must-have tools in the field. This week: the ubiquitous classic, the Phillips screwdriver. 

Patented in 1936 by Henry Phillips,  an Oregon businessman, the low-cost, lightweight Phillips screw and screwdriver first appeared on Cadillac assembly lines. It caught on so quickly as an industry standard that Phillips lost his patent by 1949. The engineering genius behind the Phillips?

“It was designed to come out as if was driven in by screwdrivers so the screw head would not be ruined or broken off. When tightening a Phillips screw with a Phillips screw driver you will notice that when the torque gets to be too strong, the screw driver winds itself out of the screw–a feature built into the design of the system.”

(h/t: A Continuous Learn)