“…he can barely make a sandwich, let alone a toaster.”

Going Home Books for the Holidays

Day Six

Where do our things really come from? In “The Toaster Project”, Thwaites asks what lies behind the smooth buttons on a mobile phone or the cushioned soles of running sneakers. What is involved in extracting and processing materials? To answer these questions, Thwaites set out to construct, from scratch, one of the most commonplace appliances in our kitchens today: a toaster. “The Toaster Project” takes the reader on Thwaites’s journey from dismantling the cheapest toaster he can find in London to researching how to smelt metal in a fifteenth-century treatise. The rules: all parts of the toaster had to be made from scratch and Thwaites had to make it all himself. It took nine months and cost 250 times more than the toaster he bought at the store. In the end, “The Toaster Project” helps us reflect on the costs and perils of our cheap consumer culture and the ridiculousness of churning out millions of toasters and other products at the expense of the environment.

Perfect for your brother-in-law!

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