When we hear or see a chainsaw, we may associate it with lumberjack chopping wood or remember the frightening scenes from horror movies where a psychopath villain wields the tool to kill people. However, have you ever considered the original purpose behind the invention of chainsaws? The tool was not intended for such activities. The history of chainsaws is known to medics, and learning about it can be quite surprising.
Chainsaws were invented for a vastly different purpose from their current usage. You will be amazed to discover the details of chainsaws and their various types by exploring this topic.
The Invention of the modern chainsaw prototype
During the 19th century in England, traditional saws were employed to refine and cut pieces of wood. However, according to sources, the modern chainsaw originated in 1830 when German orthopaedist Bernhard Heine invented it. He named the device the osteotome, derived from the Greek words for bone and cutter, translating to “bone cutter.”
Simultaneously, smaller versions of chainsaws were utilized for medical purposes. Then, at the start of the 20th century, even more powerful chainsaws were developed. Samuel J. Bens obtained the first patent for the chainsaw, named the “endless chain saw.”
Andreas Stihl designed the first electric chainsaw in 1926 and held the production line and patent for it. The saw was a heavy and robust type. Soon after, it became popular in other countries as well.
Husqvarna made a significant breakthrough in 1973 by inventing safer chainsaws. The company continues to innovate and produce effective and efficient chainsaws in the modern age.
The History of Chainsaws in Childbirth
Different types of chainsaws, including Stihl chainsaws and Lowes chainsaws, are important tools in a workshop today.
Despite the infrequency of chainsaws being discussed, social media platforms such as TikTok have made them a topic of conversation. A trend on TikTok has emerged where users are curious about the origins of chainsaws, leading many to research and become interested in the topic.
Were chainsaws used during childbirth?
Two Scottish doctors, John Aitken and James Jeffray, designed the prototypes for medical chainsaws in the eighteenth century. These chainsaws were intended for use during the process of symphysiotomy, but their design differed from the chainsaws we use today.
John Aitken, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, was renowned for delivering medical lectures and inventing numerous surgeries popular in his time.
His partner in this endeavor was Dr. Jeffray, a former student of Glasgow University and Edinburgh University, who had extensive experience in the fields of Anatomy and Botany. He had also dissected many corpses to gain a better understanding of the human body.
Symphysiotomy: Definition, Procedure, and History
During symphysiotomy, a surgical procedure, the surgeon divides the cartilage of the pubic symphysis to widen the pelvis and assist in delivering a baby trapped inside the mother. The chainsaw was originally used for this purpose.
Before the chainsaw’s invention in the eighteenth century, surgeons used knives during childbirth, which was a painful and risky process without anaesthesia, and often took a long time.
After the chainsaw’s invention, surgeons widely used it for symphysiotomy, manually operating it during surgery. However, as more modern methods became prevalent, the use of chainsaws during childbirth gradually decreased.
Today, we can be thankful for modern medical inventions that have made childbirth procedures safer and more advanced, rendering the use of chainsaws for this purpose obsolete.