Medieval torture device or a vintage cast iron book press. Sorry to disappoint but it’s a vintage book press. Although, this could easily pass for some type of torture device. In fact, it’s how we got the phrase ‘put the screws to someone.’ Not hard to understand when you look at this iron book press with one large screw in the middle. This book press is vintage and unfortunately the books that were pressed from it are near extinction as well. The interior pages with the front and back covers were placed inside the press with glue and as you can guess the screw was turned to bind them altogether.
Vintage Cast Iron Book Press
I was surprised to learn that putting the screws to someone was derived from the book press. But now I get it. I also realized that this phrase isn’t used that much anymore. Put the screws to someone means to use force or threats to make them do what you want. I’m alright with the threats but not so much with the force. At some point or another we all need someone to do something for us. Sometimes we succeed and other times we lose. Hopefully, it wouldn’t take placing their hands in the book press and turning the screw until they screamed uncle. On second thought, let me see how easy that screw turns.