man sawing a tree with a chainsaw in the summer in nature

Why were chainsaws invented?

What Was the Purpose of the Chainsaw? An Uncomfortable Past.

You see a chainsaw, what is the first thing that comes into your head?

Wood, isn’t that right? The James Wan Saw would also come to mind if you’re a movie fan. You’re in for a shock, because this motorized gadget has a harrowing past. One that has the potential to both surprise and frighten you.

In the 18th century, chainsaws were used to assist in the delivery of difficult children. Bringing a child into the world is a delicate process, and we understand your skepticism…how can such a large tool help? Let’s get to the point.

To begin, the first model was small and had two handles, so it could be operated by two people (James Jeffray and John Aitken, both Scottish medics). A stuck baby would be grabbed by two people and shredded by the pelvic bone by two people.

In a time before anesthesia, knives were not a good option because they would take a long time, which would lead to hours of pain. A chainsaw, on the other hand, isn’t exactly a calming option, but it would speed things up significantly.


With a crank and a handle, one person could operate later versions. In some parts of the 19th century, the practice of using chainsaws (termed Symphysiotomy) to carry out amputations remained popular.

Chainsaws were no longer used during childbirth after the invention of C-section tools (sigh of relief). In spite of this, the latest motorized chainsaws used to cut trees and splice timber have undergone significant modifications.

To put it another way, chainsaws were a useful invention at a time when there was nothing else to do the job.

Do you still think this is the most bizarre medical device ever?

Back in 1965, the Blonskys came up with a human turntable that could spin someone so fast that they would deliver a baby through centrifugal force. That is, in fact, correct.


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