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Technology & Engineering History


A History

by (author) David Lee

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Feb 2020
History, General, Power Tools
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price

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With hundreds of full-colour photographs and fascinating ephemera, combined with an authoritative text listing hundreds of chainsaw models from the 1800s to the present, Chainsaws carefully traces the evolutionary threads of countless pioneer devices—from six-hundred-pound steam-powered behemoths, to gas chainsaws mounted on wheeled carriages, to diesel chainsaws. The meticulous text examines Andreas Stihl’s Black Forest experiments, Vancouver’s booming WWII chainsaw industry and 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. Recalling once-familiar brands such as Titan, Timberhog, Bluestreak, Hi-Baller, Hornet, Wasp, IEL, Partner, PM, Poulan, Dolmar, Danarm, Disston, Remington, Canadien, Lombard, Mall, McCulloch, Shade, Solo, Be-Bo and Jo-Bu among others, author David Lee worked together with some of the world’s leading chainsaw history experts to create this tribute to one of humanity’s most labour-saving inventions.

Lee concludes this new paperback edition with a note on recent advances in chainsaw technology—notably the cordless electric chainsaw, powered by a lithium-ion battery—bringing readers up to date on today’s lightweight modern machine. Chainsaws is a handsome gift book and an indispensable reference for anybody with an interest in chainsaws or technology.

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.

David Lee's profile page


  • Winner, Independent Book Publisher Award

Editorial Reviews

"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>