The Macadams Shovel
At the Sharp End, Tim Cook, 2007
The Macadams shovel, patented by Sam Hughes's secretary, Edith Macadams, was a combination of metal shovel and sniper's tool that could be fired through while supposedly offering protection. It was not a terrible concept in theory (the idea being to provide the infantryman with some armour), but it was useless as a shovel and lethal to use as a shield since its thin metal could not stop a high-velocity round. The soldiers voted with their hands, tossing away the tools and keeping the army-issued entrenching shovels that came apart for easy carrying. Although Edith Macadams---and her shovel---have long been the butt of many jokes, few at home could imagine the firepower unleashed at the front. Most of the 25,000 shovels were sold as scrap metal before they got anyone killed.