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Name This Tool0

Any guesses?

If you said a jigsaw,  you’d be correct.  Me?  I thought it was a loom or some sort of sewing apparatus.

The device above is a rare Schrofter Brothers jigsaw, patented in February 1876.  The one pictured happens to be in working order and is for sale at Union Hill Antique Tools for $1825.

I can’t even tell how it works . . . It appears you either pedal or crank the bottom wheel to drive the belt that in turn moves the blade up and down.  But I have a hard time visualizing how this could get fast enough to efficiently cut wood.  What I can see clearly are tired arms (or legs) and a few partially chewed through fingers.

And it’s a lot larger than today’s jigsaws.  Take the Skil  120-Volt Orbital Jigsaw with Laser, for example:

It’s quite small.  With variable speed control, a 4-position orbital cut control, and a laser guided cutline, the Skil Orbital Jigsaw is quite a little cutter.  It even has a soft grip handle to comfort the user’s hands.

And note: no pedal/crank device to power the blade.  Just good ol’ electricity.  Technology is a wonderful thing.

by John Barker

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