No Bones About It: The Origin of the Chainsaw

#chainsaw #medicine #surgery #inventions

The chainsaw is an essential tool for those who work with wood, but it is for the roughest of cuts. You would never want to use a chainsaw for anything that requires surgical precision. Ironically, surgery is precisely the reason it was originally invented.

The first chainsaw tool was made around 1783-1785 and appears in Scottish physician John Aitken’s book Principles of Midwifery or Puerperal Medicine (1785). Called an osteotome, it used links of chain with small cutting teeth. The chain rotated when the operator turned the handle of the sprocket wheel. When put to work, it wasn’t to saw through lumber; it was designed to cut through bones.

Read about more interesting inventions.

Read about the surgical procedure that had a 300% mortality rate.

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