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Scythe snath handle

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Silas Lamson (1776-1855) was an inventor who patented a new kind of scythe handle in 1834. Scythes are used to cut grass or grain. They have a long handle that generally was straight, but Lamson discovered that if the handle had a sharp angle in it, a worker could swing it more easily, using his body's momentum to bring a more directed force to the blade's edge. The beauty of Lamson's invention was that the handle was detachable and therefore adjustable to different body sizes and arm lengths. Lamson was quite successful with this invention, so successful he began diversifying from scythes to other blades. His original factory, in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, was diversified by the early 1850s into cutlery and other knife making. It operates in Shelburne Falls to this day.


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