World's Oldest Chain Saw?

First chain saw?

Old Saw
World's oldest chain saw

Several foreign manufacturers have advertised over the last few years that they invented the chain saw--around the mid twenties or so. But read this story as reported by The Timberman magazine in its issue of October, 1949: "Our pride is somewhat piqued by the fact that we missed the account of the first experiment known to have been made with a gasoline chain saw on the Pacific Coast, or perhaps anywhere in the country. The memorable event took place in the summer of 1905 at Eureka, California ... The locale was in the vicinity of Sequoia Park, ... The saw was driven by a two-cylinder, water cooled, marine type motor set at 90 degrees from its normal position ... A note on the back of one of the historic photographs ... is to the effect that the machine sawed through a 10-foot log in 4-1/2 minutes ..." The photographs were published with this article, and other pictures were shown of other power saws pre-dating 1920. Unfortunately, the old photographs do not produce well here--those interested in chain saw history will want to track down a copy of this old magazine.

Elsewhere, the Mach 16, 1918 edition of the Scientific American featured a picture of a chainsaw on the front cover. It was said to be of German design and featured a gasoline engine separate from the saw unit. The engine was wheeled up beside the tree and the saw was connected via a driveshaft.

- - Updated 02/04/2013
- - Updated 04/06/2008
- - Updated 2/08/01
- - Updated 03/23/2008