A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment.
Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tools dates back hundreds of millennia, have been observed using tools to make other tools.
Early tools, made of such materials as stone, bone, and wood, were used for preparation of food, hunting, manufacture of weapons, and working of materials to produce clothing and useful artifacts.
The development of metalworking made additional types of tools possible. Harnessing energy sources such as animal power, wind, or steam, allowed increasingly complex tools to produce an even larger range of items, with the Industrial Revolution marking an marked inflection point in the use of tools.
The introduction of automation allowed tools to operate with minimal human supervision, further increasing the productivity of human labor.
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