- Historically, the pelvis of a baby with a large circumference was removed to make it fit through the birth canal.
- The initial procedure, which involved a small knife, was very painful and messy.
- Two doctors invented the chainsaw in 1780 so they could remove objects with greater ease and more quickly.
- Hand cranks powered the original chainsaws.
After reading the title, you are probably already clenching your knees together. However, chainsaws were initially developed to assist women during childbirth. The birth canal was the entrance through which all babies were born before caesarian sections became common. The reasoning is understandable.
The condition is known as breech baby obstruction, or when the infant is too large or breech. The bone and cartridge of the pelvis were removed if the baby couldn’t fit through or if it would get stuck. These procedures are called symphysiotomies.
To remove the bone, a small saw and knife were originally used. The procedure was done during labor without anesthesia on a woman who was about to give birth. There was a lot of mess, and it was painful.
You can feel yourself squirming with anticipation as we are about to use a chainsaw. The 13th Floor taught us about the surprising history of this tool. The chainsaw was invented in 1780 by two doctors so they could remove pelvic bones more quickly and easily during delivery.
The device had a hand crank, looked like a modern kitchen knife, and was powered by a chain on which teeth were set. We know you’re picturing those loudly roaring machines that hack through trees in a matter of seconds, but thankfully this is a little less scary, and more like a surgical tool.
Any surgery that involves chainsaws, knives, saws, or blades in a fully conscious setup can be intimidating! It’s the first chain saw to be used for surgical symphysiotomies.
Invented in 1780, this chainsaw has been in use for centuries
In the surgical room, they used the chainsaw to cut bones and amputate limbs. Because it quickly and easily cuts through almost anything, it became an essential tool for woodworkers. The monster grew larger and stronger eventually, and it became the monster we are familiar with today.
In “Third World” countries in which caesarian sections are not available, symphysiotomies still happen from time to time in places without operating rooms. But in the United States, symphysiotomies no longer take place.
The chainsaw’s surprising and very frightening past is now in your hands. Did you know your most sensitive body part is the perfect fit for the scariest power tool? Awkward.
A chainsaw was originally designed to help with difficult deliveries
Usually, when people think of a chainsaw, they think of wood (and chopping it, of course). Why was the chainsaw invented? You might be surprised to learn the invention’s origins were quite far from a lumber yard: John Aitken and James Jeffrey were Scottish surgeons.
They devised a dangerous device so they could do their jobs more efficiently.
In any case, giving birth is not the most pleasant experience most people would call. However, before anesthesia and other modern surgical tools had been developed, delivery could turn extremely dangerous very quickly. By cutting into the cartilage and bone of the pelvis, doctors could widen the area where babies come out feet-first or get stuck in the birth canal. Aitken and Jeffrey replaced knives with chainsaws as a better and more humane alternative.
This procedure was called symphysiotomies and today it has become obsolete. Chainsaws are kept away from surgical wards now, so the chainsaw is all that remains. Glad we got it done.
Santorio didn’t quite understand this, but after weighing in repeatedly, he grasped this basic idea. Exactly why? Since he was trying to figure out where his poop had gone. Check out this episode for more information on that.
Chainsaws: an evolution
The year 1830 saw the invention of another chainsaw by a German orthopedic surgeon named Bernhard Heine.
From Greek, osteotomy means bone cutter, so it would be an osteotomy; literally, it means bone cutter.
Chainsaws first appeared in the 20th century for uses other than medicine.
Samuel J. Bens of San Francisco was the first person to patent the endless chainsaw. He intended to use it to fell giant redwood trees.
The first electric chainsaw was patented and produced by Andreas Stihl in 1926. It took two men to operate many early models because they were so large.
A change in aluminum production and engine design resulted in lighter chainsaws after the Second World War.
There are many styles and sizes of chainsaws available today. A wide range of electric models is available for construction crews, from small, home-use models to large workers.