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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Spinning Wheel or Circular Saw?

     What do a spinning wheel and a saw have in common?  Give up?  Alright, then, have you ever heard of Tabitha Babbitt?  She was a very intelligent lady whom I would love to find in my ancestral line.   Since she was a member of the Shaker Religion, its not likely that I'll be able to trace my roots back to her.  You see, the Shakers believed in celibacy.  So you might say, they actually bred themselves out of existence, although I think the religion has been re-established.

     But that's a story for another day.  Today, I'd like to tell you about Tabitha Babbitt.  Evidently, all the energy she preserved by not having children gave her plenty of time to think.  And think, she did.  In fact, some of the things she thought about have been very beneficial to the world.  For instance, it was dear Tabitha who actually invented the circular saw.

     It is said that she also invented the method for making nails from a rod of iron, although I have had little time to research this and cannot be sure that it is correct.  And when she died, she was supposedly in the process of inventing false teeth.  Could it be?

     The story I first heard about Tabitha's invention of the circular saw was that she was watching two of the men of her community, one on the roof and the other down below, each working one end of a two-man saw.  Realizing that half the motion from such activity was lost, she began to toy with the idea of a round piece of notched metal, instead.  She wrapped the metal around the wheel of her spinning wheel, spun the it and tried it on a shingle. When it worked, she shared her idea.

     That's the way I first heard it.  Is it true?  At least some of it is.  I am still reseaerching, as I find the entire story quite intriguing.  Do you ever feel the need to find out more when faced with stories like this?  This is a very interesting legend, if you ask me.  In fact, off and on, I have searched for this information for several years.  One day, I may just take the time to do some serious investigation.  In the meantime, don't take my word for it.  Why don't you find out for yourself?

     And keep a hug on,


My name is PJ. said...

It's been my experience that, as opposed to always using the "right tool for the job", women are smart enough to broaden that to "what works".

Thinking outside the box is what has always kept women self-reliant and creative.

And it's "the MOTHER of invention" not "the FATHER"

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I had no idea. That is interesting. From time to time I do come across things that call me to research them, too. There just never seems to be enough time, though, does there?

Natalie said...

How interesting. I love a great story that turns out to be true.

Amy Tate said...

Very cool! I love quirky stories like that.

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