Nothing? I asked. Brass helmets? Detachable shirt collars? Chariot wheels?
Nothing, he said.
Can't be, I told him. Tools do hang around, but some must go extinct.
If only because of the hubris — the absolute nature of the claim — I told him it would take me a half hour to find a tool, an invention that is no longer being made anywhere by anybody.
Go ahead, he said. Try.
If you listen to our Morning Edition debate, I tried carbon paper (still being made), steam powered car engine parts (still being made), Paleolithic hammers (still being made), 6 pages of agricultural tools from an 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogue (every one of them still being made), and to my utter astonishment, I couldn't find a provable example of an technology that has disappeared completely.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/02/01/133188723/tools-never-die-waddaya-mean-never and http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/02/01/133211209/am-i-extinct via GearFuse | Photo: Archaeology.org