Well-sharpened, high-quality scissors with comfortable handles are simply comfortable.
But it wasn’t always this way. Initially, they had a rough shape and a completely uncomfortable mechanism. According to one theory, the first scissors were invented 3,500 years ago in Ancient Rome. They consisted of two blades connected in a manner similar to tweezers and were used exclusively for sheep shearing. They had to be squeezed at the point of connection like steak tongs. One can imagine how tight they were if they were only used during the warming season.
They continued to exist in this form for another 2,000 years. Then, in the 8th century CE, in the Near East, a clever person appeared who decided to connect two knives with a nail and bend the handles into rings. This made them much easier to use.
They came to Europe around the 10th century. It was then that they also appeared in Russia, as evidenced by the oldest found specimen.
Unfortunately, the name of the inventor who made scissors as we are used to seeing them is unknown. But the modern form of scissors was invented by Leonardo da Vinci, who improved the design for convenient use. It was among his manuscripts that drawings of an improved version of scissors were found. They say Leonardo was quite a perfectionist – if he didn’t like a painting, he simply and radically cut off the unsuccessful part of the canvas.
Scissors as a separate art form.
Gradually, scissors became an indispensable tool for solving many medieval problems: as an instrument, a tool for torture, decoration, and a luxury item.
For noble lords, blacksmiths forged scissors with handles wrapped in grapevines or dragon tails. Steel, silver, and golden scissors became works of art that were impossible to use for their intended purpose – they were meant only to be shown off.
In the Middle Ages, admirers often sent their ladies a gift that included scissors in a leather case. Sometimes they only gave scissors as a gift. They became an exclusively female accessory. Of course, because you want to cut love letters with something beautiful.
Special blade quality and shapes were achieved in the East. This was associated with the development and spread of calligraphy in the Islamic world. Scissors became more elegant and sharper.
Over time, the neat English invented their version of scissors for trimming neat lawns.
Enterprising French adapted them for carving goose carcasses to extract future foie gras. Germans invented large scissors for emergency situations such as car accidents, to open doors, break windows, or cut seat belts. The purest privilege of the aristocratic world were scissors for cigars.
Egyptian version of the invention of scissors
There are several other versions of the invention of the first scissors, which involve China and ancient Egypt. In Egypt, the first example dates back to the 16th century BC and consists of a solid sheet of metal with a crossbar. It is not known for sure whether they were used to trim Queen Cleopatra’s perfect bob or not, but the ancient Egyptians certainly claim the invention of scissors.
Thinning scissors In the 1930s in the United States, a pilot version of thinning hairdressing scissors appeared. At that time, they were not yet perfected, so no hairdresser could predict the result of such a cut. Both the cutting part and the tips of the teeth were sharpened. There was enough space between the teeth, so no one knew how much hair they would cut. In the 1950s, notches appeared on them, and hair cutting became as easy as pie. Nowadays, there are scissors for any human need, and this undoubtedly makes life easier. Automatic scissors are used in factories for cutting plastic, there are special blades for crafting with beautiful shapes, and even my cat has scissors for trimming its claws. Progress is a wonder, no doubt!