Did You Know? The Chainsaw Was Invented For Childbirth


Inventions have always led humanity a step further towards advancement. The world that we see today would have never been the same if some great minds did not work together. However, not every invention came out with pleasing results. Some were simply a disaster. But what shocks the most is that those very disasters were still given a green sign just for the sake of fitting the results! Yes, and one such example is the chainsaw. Now you might be wondering what can possibly be wrong with the invention of a chainsaw. They are so helpful to people and convenient, of course. However, the problem is not with its working, but rather its origin story. We know it sounds bizarre and hard to believe but will you believe us if we tell you that chainsaws were actually invented to help women give birth?

Chainsaw for birth-giving? It’s a joke, right?

Did You Know? The Chainsaw Was Invented For Childbirth

Of course, no. Why would we tell a gruesome joke like this? There is absolutely nothing pleasing or laughable about this fact. It sure is hard to imagine though. But no matter how unimaginable, it actually is true. The chainsaw was invented by two Scottish doctors between the years 1783 and 1785. Lord knows what they were thinking, but John Aitken and James Jeffrey came up with a ‘flexible saw’. The saw consisted of a chain and carved teeth. This genius invention with an unreal purpose was then published in Principle of Midwifery, or Puerperal Medicines in the year 1785. The publication insisted on the problems related to pyelotomy or symphysiotomy.

Sorry, but what is symphysiotomy?

Did You Know? The Chainsaw Was Invented For Childbirth
via Wikipedia

Well, before modern technology was invented, giving birth was not an easy task. It still is not. However, the separated pelvic bone during that time was not an easy task to deal with. This phenomenon occurs during vaginal childbirth, where the usually attached pelvic bone dislocates. It is known as the Diastasis Symphysis Pubis, which was discovered in the 14th century by a French doctor named Severin Pineau. It was for this reason why the chainsaw was invented!

So how does the chainsaw come into the play?

Did You Know? The Chainsaw Was Invented For Childbirth

Here comes the scary part, the chainsaw was invented to cut this separated pelvic bone in half so that it won’t become a problem for the baby to enter! Yes, you heard that correctly. They are not just theories, but it was performed on many women until the last century. In fact, the practice is still active in some third world countries! The recovery from this act was very painful, of course. The women were to be in bed for many days in a manner where any movement was gravely painful. 

Of course, thanks to modern technology and the evolution of medical practices, this practice is no longer common. The doctors at that time did use anesthetics, but it still does not change the fact that women actually faced a chainsaw during childbirth.

Believe us, it gets weirder. Read about how frogs were used as pregnancy test kits.


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