Why the chainsaw was invented – and the answer is not what you expected. With a modern chainsaw, trees are felled thanks to their sharp edges. However, the reality of the tool do not correspond to the chainsaws currently in use, which is a relief since the invention was made for a particularly pathological reason.
Why was the chainsaws invented? How the tool was used in childbirth – and the Scottish surgeons who invented it;
It was actually two Scots who created the first chainsaw in 1780, but why exactly was this risky tool invented in the first place? Amazingly, the chainsaw was originally invented to aid childbirth – yes, you read that right. Before caesarean section became a common method, all fetuses had to pass through the birth canal. Babies can inevitably get stuck if they’re too tall or in a locked position when they’re feet first in the womb rather than the usual head to head position.
In the 18th century, pieces of bone and cartilage were removed to make room in what was known as a symphysiotomy when a baby couldn’t pass through or was stuck in the pelvis. This painful and messy method was done by hand with a small knife and saw to remove the bone. To make the process easier, two Scottish surgeons invented the chainsaw in the 18th century.
You will be pleased to know that it wasn’t a tree chopper’s idea, but rather something like a tiny kitchen knife with tiny teeth on a chain wound by a hand crank. The tool actually made the process simpler and less time consuming and continued to be used for most of the 19th century.
A symphysiotomy involves cutting the cartilage of a pelvic joint to widen it and allow a baby to be born without disability. Women were at high risk of pain, bladder injuries, and even long-term difficulty walking. The procedure was common in the treatment of disabled labor from 1597, but became rare in the late 20th century after the risk of maternal death from a decreased infection due to improved methods and hygiene.