Chainsaws were originally invented for medical purposes, specifically to aid in childbirth and surgeries. Scottish doctors John Aitken and James Jeffray developed a prototype of the chainsaw in the late 18th century for symphysiotomy and the excision of diseased bone. The design of the chainsaw was based on a watch chain with teeth that moved through the use of a hand-crank.
The chainsaw was used in medicine throughout the 19th century, but it was eventually superseded by other medical instruments. The mechanized chainsaw was later adopted by the timber industry in 1905, allowing the instrument to be applied to trees, rather than its original use on women. Today, chainsaws are commonly used for cutting down trees, pruning overgrown bushes, or even carving ice.