The Afterword Episode 6:  The Toaster Project, or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance From Scratch

Conversations with writers.
March 3 2012 12:01 AM

How To Make a Toaster From Scratch

An interview with Thomas Thwaites.

PODCAST_the_afterword

Listen to Episode 6 of Slate’s new podcast, The Afterword:

June Thomas June Thomas

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

Where do toasters come from? That was the question Thomas Thwaites asked when he examined the appliance he had bought for $6 at a local store. How can a piece of equipment that contains more than 400 separate parts gathered from around the world be so inexpensive? In an attempt to calculate its real cost—and to prepare himself for life on a desert island—he set out to build a toaster from scratch. The Toaster Project chronicles Thwaites’ effort to get his hands on iron ore, mica, plastic, copper, and nickel and to shape those raw materials into a working toaster. The interview runs around 25 minutes.

The Afterword, which will appear in the Slate daily feed every other Thursday, features interviews with the authors of new nonfiction books.

The show’s email address is slateafterword@gmail.com.

Podcast produced by June Thomas. The executive producer of Slate’s podcasts is Andy Bowers.

See all the pieces in the new Slate Book Review.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Why Not Just Turn Campus Rape Allegations Over to the Police? Because the Police Don't Investigate.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.