Who Invented the Chainsaw and When? (History)

When we seem at the planet about us and almost everything in it, often it’s straightforward to forget that so numerous products are newer inventions. The modern day chainsaw is 1 of these things, with the first present day chainsaw hitting the market place in 1926.

But the initial-ever chainsaw strike the industry nearly a hundred and fifty years just before that and for a totally diverse objective. It is an enlightening (and disturbing) tale, but it goes to show how significantly we have occur by means of the several years!

Who Invented the Chainsaw?

Even though Andreas Stihl of the Stihl business invented the contemporary chainsaw in 1926, he does not get the credit rating for developing the 1st-ever chainsaw. That accolade goes to Dr. John Aitken and Dr. James Jeffray in the 1780s.

Whilst Dr. Aitken and Dr. Jeffray’s chainsaw was a much scaled-down hand-powered chainsaw, it experienced all the very same factors that you can locate in a present day chainsaw.

It experienced a chain and little enamel on the blade, and it rotated in the precise very same way that a modern day chainsaw does. But while individuals use modern day chainsaws almost exclusively for chopping timber, these 1st chainsaws by no means produced it in close proximity to wood. Instead, doctors employed them throughout childbirth!

Image Credit: WFranz, Pixabay

Why Was the Chainsaw Invented?

The quick reply right here is that Dr. Aitken and Dr. Jeffray invented the first chainsaw to help with cesarean sections during childbirth.

We’ll dive into the information up coming, but know that it is not for the squeamish. Jump to the next segment if you want to, but if you want to learn much more, hold reading through.

For a lot of human historical past, cesarean sections associated a procedure referred to as a symphysiotomy. This treatment utilized a modest knife to lower absent areas of the pelvic bone and cartilage to generate ample area to get rid of the child.

The whole approach transpired without having anesthesia, and it was a sluggish approach. Not only was it extremely unpleasant for the mom, but it also led to huge amounts of blood reduction, large hazards of infection, and other significant worries.

The chainsaw that Dr. Aitken and Dr. Jeffray developed was intended to speed up the procedure of reducing away bone and cartilage. The more rapidly they could get via almost everything, the quicker they could get the infant out.

close up view of a chainsaw bar and cutting chain at construction site
Image Credit: Bilanol, Shutterstock

The Evolution of the Chainsaw

The very first chainsaws that Dr. Aitken and Dr. Jeffray invented really don't have significantly resemblance to modern day chainsaws, although they did operate the very same way.

To assist you recognize how we went from these rudimentary devices to the timber-sawing products of these days, here’s a breakdown of the key chainsaw developments through background.

The Early Chainsaw

Dr. Aitken and Dr. Jeffray invented the early chainsaw in the 1780s. It was a reasonably little gadget, about the measurement of a kitchen knife. The blade by itself had modest teeth, like what you would uncover on a modern chainsaw, and the teeth moved by means of a wood crank that was hooked up to the entrance with a chain.

Whilst it appears like a device from a horror story, it was extremely helpful at the time and remained in use for most of the 19th century.

The Modern Chainsaw

When most folks believe of a chainsaw, their head very likely goes to something that looks like the 1st Stihl chainsaw. It was a two-individual chainsaw, where every individual would keep on to one particular conclude with the chainsaw functioning in the middle. A lot like modern day chainsaws, people utilised this early chainsaw for timber. This very first Stihl chainsaw was an electrical chainsaw and weighed 116 kilos.

Just one yr afterwards, producers Dolmar and Stihl created and made the initial petrol chainsaws. These were also two-man or woman chainsaws, but since they utilised petrol, they had been significantly much more portable. But the petrol motor did add much more weight, with the Stihl petrol chainsaw weighing 139 lbs ..

Further Chainsaw Developments

More than the a long time, many chainsaw developments have taken these initial massive contemporary chainsaws and made them much far more compact and simpler to use. In 1945, aluminum alloys were produced, which enabled chainsaw producers to drastically reduce down on bodyweight and produce one-gentleman chainsaws.

By 1949, McCulloch Motors Corp created the world’s lightest chainsaw, weighing just 25 lbs ., which is 114 pounds lighter than the initial petrol chainsaw!

One more big development for modern chainsaws arrived in 1964, when Stihl developed and integrated anti-vibration into its chainsaws. Whilst you may believe that a contemporary chainsaw vibrates quite a bit, it’s practically nothing like the preliminary models!

In 1973, Husqvarna Team created the initial computerized chain split, which stopped the chain from kicking back if it broke. Before this system, a chainsaw was an very harmful instrument to use. If the chain broke, it would fly again and strike your face.

Finally, in the eighties, Husqvarna released the first chainsaw that included plastic elements in its layout. While plastic isn’t fairly as sturdy as aluminum alloy, it does permit for less costly and lighter chainsaws.

Final Thoughts

Occasionally we search back on historical past and feel about how fortunate we are not to live in the course of those times. Searching again at the advancement of the chainsaw is a single of people moments.

Nowadays, we use chainsaws for slicing down trees, branches, and shaping lumber, and we’re perfectly fine with trying to keep it that way!



Showcased Picture Credit: Tim Umphreys, Unsplash