If you’re into cutting trees, you might wonder why they made chainsaws.
So, these saws have been around for a long time, and the first ones were cutting wood back in the 1800s. You should know that the chainsaw started out as something other than a tree-cutting thing. It initially began as a tool for helping during childbirth.
Now, let me be clear: what happened back then sounds creepy, but don’t worry, doctors weren’t using gas-powered chainsaws on women.
Why were chainsaws invented?
The first chainsaw, made by Scottish doctors John Aitken and James Jeffrey, was initially created as a “flexible saw… made to be used when there is ossification [hardening of bone],” as mentioned in the book Principles Of Midwifery, Or Puerperal Medicine from 1785.
This basic chainsaw was meant to help with a process called symphysiotomy, where they widen the pubic cartilage and remove bone that had diseases.
This flexible saw, which was later turned into the osteotome by German physician Bernhard Heine in 1830, was used to cut away cartilage, flesh, and bone during childbirth if the baby got stuck in the birth canal.
According to The Lancet London, they described the osteotome as something like a knife or a really strong bistoury. Imagine it as two plates stacked on each other, with a toothed wheel in between, and you turn it using a handle.
This invention was a big deal in medicine and was used in surgeries during the rest of the 1800s.
Thankfully, progress in medicine has helped us go past the osteotome and symphysiotomy. Now, giving birth is way safer, and caesarean sections are more successful, thanks to better techniques, practices, and hygiene.
The chainsaw we’re familiar with for cutting wood came about at the beginning of the 1900s.
In 1883, they got patents for the chain sawing machine; in 1906, they got the endless chain saw. The first was for making wooden boards, and the second was for chopping down huge redwood trees.
In 1918 the world got its first portable chainsaw, thanks to Canadian James Shand. Then, just a little later, we got our first electric chainsaw and gas-powered ones.
A guy named Andreas Stihl made and patented these. He created an electric chainsaw for cutting wood in 1926, and after three years, he patented a gas-powered one.
These chainsaws were so big that it took two people to use them back then. It wasn’t until after World War II that they became light enough for one person to handle, thanks to improvements in engine and aluminium design.
People May Also Ask
What was the original job of the chainsaw?
Scottish doctors John Aitken and James Jeffrey made the hand-cranked tool in the 1780s to make medical tasks like “symphysiotomy and excision of diseased bone” easier, as per info from the Scottish Medical Journal shared by the NIH.
Why was the chainsaw invented, and was it a scary reason?
Before Cesarean sections, if a baby was too big for the birth canal, they removed parts of the pelvis. They initially did this with a small, messy, painful knife. In 1780, two doctors invented the chainsaw to make this removal easier and less time-consuming.
Why were chainsaws used in childbirth?
The basic chainsaw was made to help with symphysiotomy (widening the pubic cartilage) and removing bone with diseases to speed up the process.
How does a chainsaw do its job?
The chain moves because of a centrifugal clutch. When the engine idles, the clutch isn’t engaged. When the engine speeds up, the clutch engages, and the chain starts moving. The engine is 3 cubic inches (49 cc).