In 1908, square-drive screws were invented by Canadian P. L. Robertson. Twenty-eight years before Henry Phillips patented his Phillips head screws, which are also square-drive screws.The Robertson screw is considered the "first recess-drive type fastener practical for production usage." The design became a North American standard, as published in the sixth edition of Industrial Fasteners Institute Metric and Inch Standards. A square-drive head on a screw can be better than a slot head because the screwdriver will not slip out of the screw's head during installation.
The Model T car made by the Ford Motor Company (one of Robertson's first customers) used over seven hundred Robertson screws.