Why Were Chainsaws Invented

Why Were Chainsaws Invented, Symphysiotomy or Cutting Trees?

When we talk of chainsaws, what normally comes to mind is wood chopping or you say a horror movie if you are into movies. The thought of that big monstrous wood chopper comes to mind because that’s what is been used for now. Well, it turns out these chainsaws were invented for medical purposes. Sounds kind of scary right?

Let’s delve deeper into this.

Why were chainsaws invented?

Initially, chainsaws were invented for medical purposes. these chainsaws were to aid in the process of childbirth. Sounds kind of scary when you think about it.

It turns out these scary devices were invented to bring babies safely into the world. that sounds pretty amazing. whoever thought that wood chopper could be used to save lives.

Babies had to pass the birth channel in women to come into the world before c-sections came into play. However, some babies are quite large or there could be a breach that blocked them from coming out with ease. this can cause complications for the mother and baby.

When babies get stuck in the pelvis or couldn’t fit through, parts of bone and cartilages had to be removed to allow a free passage for the baby.

All these were done without anesthesia drugs being injected into the woman during the child’s birth. this was obviously a painful and scary procedure. This procedure was called symphysiotomy.

Initially, chainsaws were invented for medical purposes. these chainsaws were to aid in the process of childbirth. Sounds kind of scary when you think about it.

In the 1780s, two Scottish doctors by the names of John Aitken and James Jeffrey sat down and realized there could be a better way to remove the pelvic bone much easier and faster so they invented the chainsaw. this chainsaw was small and had two handles so it was operated by two people. when cutting the pelvic bone, the two people would grab and place it on the bone then start cutting. The type of chainsaw they invented compared to the big motor used now are not the same.

On November 18, 2014, news on Al Jazeera stated hundreds of Irish women who were left crippled during childbirth rejected a compensation which was offered by the government. this symphysiotomy was performed on all these women. These women said they were mutilated and tortured and this was said to be an insult to them. this is a sad story when you think of it.  it.


Who invented chainsaws?

Initially, a chainsaw was invented by two Scottish surgeons called John Aitken and James Jeffray for symphysiotomy in the 18th century. This idea of a saw with joints like the chain of a watch for the excision of bones became more accepted after the adoption of anesthetics. In 1894, the Gigli twisted wire saw for cutting bones took over which was more affordable to manufacture and it gave a quicker, narrow-cut without the risk of breaking and being entangled in the bone. Another medical piece of equipment produced around 1830 by a German orthopedist called Bernard Heine was a predecessor to the chainsaw used in the forestry sector today. The osteotome instrument had links of a chain with small cutting teeth with the edges fixed at an angle, the chain was rotated around the guiding blade by spinning a gear wheel’s handle. This tool was also used for cutting bones.

In 1948, the first chainsaw was manufactured by Robert Paxton McCulloch with his name on it. McCulloch’s chainsaw was used for the cutting of trees and lake ice. The early models were heavy and it was a two-person device with long bars. Chainsaws were heavy and they had wheels like that of drag saws.

In the following year McCulloch’s model 3-25, one-man, light-weight chainsaw further transformed the industry.

In 1883, Frederick L. Magaw of Flatlands, New York was granted one of the earliest patents of an endless chainsaw consisting of a chain of links carrying saw teeth. The first portable chainsaw for wood cutting was developed and licensed by a Canadian named Millwright James Shand. His rights lapsed in 1930 and his invention was later developed by Festo a German company in 1933. Now, the company is operating as Festool and produces power tools.

Who invented the wood chainsaw?

The German orthopedist Bernhard Heine invented a bone cutting device that consisted of a chain having small teeth that were rotated by turning its handle. The idea of the modern chainsaw came from his concept but his device was for bone cutting and the now chainsaw is for wood. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, the idea of cutting trees evolved. There was the American Riding Saw, a device that looked like a rowing boat and operated by a man sitting on top of it. Samuel J. Bens. with the intention of felling giant redwoods was granted later copyright featuring a guide frame (endless Chainsaw).

Andreas Stihl is mostly credited for the invention of the modern wood chainsaws. He is a Swiss-born German engineer and was called the father of chainsaw. He owned the Stihl company. In 1926, Stihl patented the Cutoff Chainsaw for Electric Power which weighed 64kg and a one-inch gauge chain with handles at the end. This chainsaw required two people to operate because of its heavyweight. This was the first electric chainsaw worldwide. He then built a petrol-powered chainsaw which was called the “tree-felling machine”, two years after Emil Lerp a German-built the first one worldwide. The next year, Stihl created the first-ever chainsaw that could be operated by one person. His company developed continuously and it became the first European company to export chainsaws to the United States and the Soviet Union in 1931. Since 1971, the Stihl company has been the biggest chainsaw manufacturing company in the world. No wonder Andreas was given credit for the invention of chainsaws.

Types of chainsaws

There are different types of chainsaws. We are just going to mention two of them.

  • Battery-powered chainsaws

This chainsaw is the lightest kind of power chainsaw that operates on a rechargeable power source normally the lithium-ion battery. The duration of the battery normally varies between brands. These chainsaws have less power and can’t last long for more than a day. If you’re a rechargeable chainsaw newbie, remember to put the battery into its charger a few hours before you start cutting your wood.

  • Gas-powered Chainsaws

As the name depicts you need gas for the operation of these machines. This machine is mostly preferred by a lot of people. They are the most powerful. It requires preparing the gas tank and pulling on a starter cord when starting them.