Scissor History (in progress)

PLEASE NOTE: This section is still under construction

Many kind of scissors are associated with feminine activities and activities disregarded as trivial.  They are clearly a very under-studied artefact in term of history, design, and anthropology.  Nevertheless scissors do appear in the academic record in various fragmented ways.  Examples being: the history of surgery, and the role of women.

First made with a single bent piece of metal, shears are recorded as being used surgically and for hair cutting in the 1st century AD and may originate from ancient Roman culture. Shear were independently invented around the same time in Han dynasty China. Ancient sheers from the Roman Empire and China were made from iron rather than other metals available at the time such as bronze. However there are difference in design with Roman scissors being made from two or more separate piece and Chinese sheers from a single piece of higher quality metal.

True scissors with two tines attacked with a pivot are known from around 1000 AD and illustrations date from the mid 13th century. True scissors are generally considered a Middle eastern invention that were sporadically imported into Western nations.

Sewing is closely associated with women, historically. Under this category special meanings are attached to all the various objects lie thread, thimble and of course scissors.

  • Beaudry, Mary C. "Stitching women’s lives: Interpreting the artifacts of sewing and needlework." In Interpreting the Early Modern World, pp. 143-158. Springer US, 2011.
  • Kirkup, John. "Surgical history. The history and evolution of surgical instruments. IX Scissors and related pivot-controlled cutting instruments." Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 80, no. 6 (1998): 422.
  • Shugar, Aaron, Mike Notis, Laura Limata, DongNing Wong, Parsaoran Hutapea, and Han RUBIN. "Early Chinese Scissors and Shears: Category, Design and Shape: A Metallurgical Study." In 34th International Symposium on Archaeometry, pp. 237-244. Centro de Estudios Borjanos, 2006.

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