Have you ever stopped to consider living without any item made of metal? Could you actually do it? Most likely not! Metal is a significant part of our daily lives. You might say well socks don't have metal, but then how were they made? by machine? Machinery is made with metal. You might argue well food doesn't have metal to which a reply would be how is it processed? how is it cooked? most likely answered with "by equipment made of metal". Truth is, metalworking, has changed the human existence and experience exponentially!
Working with metal, working metal into different shapes, sizes and outcomes for assembly into products and/or projects, is key to the industrial revolution. It is not a question of which came first the machine or metal, but it is a question of who came up with the idea to make equipment for metalworking? Am still seeking a better understanding of this question. Best that can be shared from a variety of sources is that over a period of thousands of years metals were worked into products, things, objects and such with value for ancient civilizations.
From the Pharoahs in Egypt to Mayans in North America, metalworking proved effective, efficient and necessary. The challenge for us today is not to wonder why metalworking is important, but to remember to celebrate just how important it truly is to our daily lives!
Metalworking doesn't cross our minds, it's fairly a run of the mill normal expectation.
Perhaps running a mill would help us understand those expectations are only met if and when talented, trained and hard-working men and women run the mill, the saw, the drill, the shear, the brake, the grinder, the notcher, the ironworker and the list goes on.