Most of our modern-day gadgets are swathed in plastic or other high-tech materials, and why wouldn’t they be? Plastic is both cheap and easy to produce. But English Russia’s display of wooden gadgets shows that sometimes the most elegant items are the simplest.

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As you might suspect, wood-covered devices don’t come cheap and never have. According to English Russia, wood-covered clocks were popular in the 19th century among Russian Tzars and other well-off members of society. Few of the clocks survived the Russian Revolution and the Communist reign, and those that did are available in antique shops for the steep price of $20,000. That hefty price tag still applies today and is likely the reason many wood craftsmen have given up their trade or reverted to other materials.

Quality woodis usually reserved for construction works, so its hard to find top-notch lumber for, say, a wood-covered computer mouse. But we imagine if more electronic itemswere covered in wood, users would be less likely to toss them in the trash. Instead, we’d just return a product when it reached the end of its lifecycle, wait to see how nimble-fingered artisans reused the material to elevate the next tech trend and be grateful that the craft of woodworking had lived to see another day.

Via English Russia and Treehugger