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Something that is eponymous is named after itself (for example, when the band Boston named their debut album “Boston,” it was eponymous). Since I’m on vacation this week and involved in many home fix-it projects, I got to wondering about the eponymity (I just made that word up – since anonymity is a word, I feel this should be, also!) of a few tool names. Who are Allen wrenches named after? Turns out they are named after a man from right here in Connecticut, William Allen of Allen Manufacturing in Hartford, who patented the wrench in the early twentieth century. What about Phillips screwdrivers? They are named after Henry Phillips, who developed them for the American Screw Company of Providence during the Depression. One of their first major uses was in Cadillac assembly.

Other words named after their inventors or developers are the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales, named after a German and Swede, respectively, who lived in the early eighteenth century, and the watt measurement of energy, named after Scottish engineer James Watt. Another one that most people are familiar with is the Richter Scale, as well as the Geiger counter. One that may surprise you, however, is the graham cracker, named after the minister who created it in 1829.

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