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list price: $49.95
edition:Hardcover
published: Dec 2006
ISBN:9781550173802

Chainsaws

A History

by David Lee

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power tools, history
5 of 5
2 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $49.95
edition:Hardcover
published: Dec 2006
ISBN:9781550173802
Description

“It rips, and cuts, it makes a horrible racket—a chainsaw is a frightening thing. I write not to glorify its terrible power but to acknowledge its place in the most sweeping revolution that technology has wrought in the 20th century—the revolution of individual empowerment.”

So begins author David Lee in this first-ever book on the worldwide history of the chainsaw, an invention that transformed the forest industry and eventually became the indispensable companion of every red-blooded country dweller. Chainsaws, it turns out, have a curious history and since the 19th century they have taken on many forms. From 600-pound steam-powered behemoths to gas chainsaws mounted on wheeled carriages to diesel chainsaws and electric chainsaws with portable generators, this book musters a curious collection of contraptions and inventors the like of which we haven’t seen since Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. Carefully tracing the evolutionary threads of countless short-lived pioneer devices, author Lee, working together with a worldwide network of chainsaw buffs, traces the roaring, woodchip-and-oil-sprayed progress of what is now a lightweight modern machine that holds a place of honour in the world's woodsheds.

Chainsaws is a handsome gift book full of wonderful old and new photos along with priceless chainsaw ephemera that will warm the heart of anyone who's ever held a power tool. From Andreas Stihl’s Black Forest experiments to Vancouver’s booming WWII chainsaw industry, to the postwar race to develop one-man saws, the rise and fall of Canada's proud Pioneer brand, and the late entry into the field of the centuries-old arms manufacturer Husqvarna, it examines why the chainsaw is no good for massacres (in Texas or elsewhere), and why it is unlikely to be replaced by any new high-tech inventions such as lasers.

About the Author

David Lee’s books range from Four-Wheeling on Southern Vancouver Island (Harbour Publishing, 1997), a guide to the island’s rugged back roads, to Commander Zero (Tightrope Books, 2012), a novel set on the BC coast. His other books include Stopping Time: Paul Bley and the Transformation of Jazz (Véhicule Press, 1998) and The Battle of the Five Spot: Ornette Coleman and the New York Jazz Field (Wolsak and Wynn, 2014). Lee is originally from Mission, BC, and lived in Pender Harbour, BC, where he gained the hands-on experience that led him to write Chainsaws. He now lives in Hamilton, ON, the setting for his award-winning Midnight Games (Wolsak and Wynn, 2015) trilogy.

Author profile page >
Awards
  • Winner, Independent Book Publisher Award
Editorial Review

"In the story of the ongoing struggle between man and nature (not to mention between man and man), the chainsaw makes for a surprisingly colourful chapter."
--Stephen Knight, Quill & Quire

— Praise for <i>Chainsaws:A History<i>

Out of print

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Reader Reviews

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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Chainsaws: A History

This book traces the development and evolution of the chainsaw. From its humble beginnings when it required four operators and used steam, the chainsaw’s technological advancement is chronicled to the single-operator machine of today. The book goes behind the scenes to look at the inventors of the chainsaw, their struggles to obtain acceptance from the loggers and eventually to their success as multinational companies. It also includes hundreds of black and white and colour photographs, complete with descriptors, hand drawings, a detailed timeline and interesting factoids throughout.

Lee also wrote Four-Wheeling on Southern Vancouver Island and The Battle of the Five Spot.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2007-2008.

Related Blog Posts

Other Titles by David Lee

Stopping Time

Stopping Time

Paul Bley and the Transformation of Jazz
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
Four-Wheeling on Southern Vancouver Island

Four-Wheeling on Southern Vancouver Island

Victoria to Tofino
by David Lee
photographs by Keith Thirkell
edition:Paperback
More Info

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