Alex Tabarrok

I, Toaster

Blog Post created by Alex Tabarrok on Dec 11, 2015

Originally posted on January 17, 2011.


Leonard Read famously explained that no one knows how to build a pencil. Well no one knows how to build a toaster either as demonstrated in this entertaining TED video. Compare how much Thomas Thwaites spent buying a toaster, about 4 pounds ($6), with how much labor time he spent trying to build a toaster and reflect on the power of trade, the division of knowledge and the division of labor.