Chainsaws are portable power tools used for cutting down trees… but that wasn’t their intended use.
Users must be incredibly careful, and injuries are not uncommon – with around 28,000 chainsaw-related incidents in the US each year, according to the National Library of Medicine.
The motorised tool was wielded as a weapon by Leatherface in the horror movie classic the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ ‘.
And the original use of the contraption has a similarly shocking backstory after being invented by two Scottish surgeons in 1780.
The first chainsaw was created by John Aitken and James Jeffray and it was actually used to assist childbirth.
Powered by a hand crank with teeth that moved along a chain, the invention was a lot smaller and didn’t look quite as big and scary as the modern equivalent.
The caesarian section wasn’t common in the 18th century because it was deemed too dangerous.
So, when a baby became stuck or breached, doctors had to remove parts of cartilage, flesh and bone to create space – the procedure was called a ‘symphysiotomy’.
Surgeons used to perform the procedure using a knife, however this was a drawn-out and painful operation. Anaesthesia wasn’t invented until 1846
The original chainsaw, later developed into the ‘osteotome,’ allowed surgeons to widen the pubic cartilage and cut away diseased bone.
As this information circulated around social media, users were horrified by the revelation.
One person tweeted: ‘Think medicine cares about women’s pain, either historically or presently? Look up what the chainsaw was initially invented to do. I dare you’.
Others added ‘Do not look up why was the chainsaw invented’ and ‘Be grateful for modern medicine and if you’re not go Google why the chainsaw was invented’.
Another use wrote ‘I don’t think I wanted to know this,’ while someone else added ‘Oh my God that’s medieval!’
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