Human Invention Anticipated by Nature
By John George Wood
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2009
Online Publication Date:August 2010
Original Publication Year:1877
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511692932.020
Subjects: Philosophy of religion
STILL keeping to the Cutting Tools and their varieties, we come to the Saw, i.e. the cutting tool set with teeth upon its edge. Now, in plain fact, there is no cutting instrument that does not more or less partake of the character of the Saw; for, in the first place, it is absolutely impossible for man to grind an edge so fine that, when magnified, it will not appear to be deeply notched, and, in the next place, its cutting powers are greatly due to the notches and teeth, and the direction of their points.
We will take both these subjects in turn.
First, as to the notches, or serrated edge. I have now before me two instruments, each the best of their kind, and in both of which the serrations are essential to efficacy. The first is a Malayan dagger, or “kris,” and the second is a surgeon's lancet, made by Ferguson, of London.
In the kris the edge is intentionally serrated, having been eaten away by means of acids until the required effect was produced. The Malayans know by experience that such an edge is most deadly in a weapon, and that it will cut certain vital parts which a smoother edge might pass without doing any damage.
WAR AND HUNTING