Scissors: - see also, the webster 1913 definition for preciseness. May also want to check out shears for reference. Normally I'd include other entries on the same topic, but me thinks this w/u will be deleted long before the holy webster 1913's w/us are. He should be including ME, damnit!
History: The oldest finding of shears are from Emar, Capital of Astata, from the Fourteenth Century BCE. They were discovered by Jean-Claude Margueron. Following is a quote of Jean-Claude Margueron's findings, courtesay of J W Hughes:
"Besides ceramics, occasionally collected in large quantities, the houses produced stone and metallic objects illustrating both day-to-day needs and the activities of city merchants: beer filters; containers; arrow and javelin heads; scales of armor; needles and scissors; long nails; bronze scrapers; millstones; mortars; many kinds of grindstones; pestles; various tools; and stone rings."
In the Third Century B.C., the Egyptians had eloquent bronze shears. The design of the shears was obviously showing Greek influence, but the high degree of craftsmanship and a small dose of Egyptian innovation made these far superior. The Egyptians put a spring between the two shears and used them to clip wool from sheep.

In the First Century A.D. Sir Flinders Petrie was attributed as describing a simple "cross-bladed" shear, being used by the Romans.

One of the first recorded mentionings of cross-blade scissors, however, was in the Fifth Century. The scribe Isidore of Seville described a cross-bladed shear, with a center pivot, used by barbers and tailors. These scissors did not gain widespread use in Europe until the 1600's. (One thousand years later!)

The Chinese and Japanese used varying types of paper-cutting devices in the early 10th century and onward, as a form of art and was not used for practical purposes.

In 1761, the first modern cast-steel scissors were invented in England by Robert Hinchliffe.

Shears and Scissors were never patented, but Pinking Shears were in 1893 by a Louise Austin.

Shears vs. Scissors: Cletus the Foetus asks this good question, and upon reviewing my old text, I realize I made a misleading set of statements. They have been fixed. Shears are hinged at the base, at only one end; one would hold it like one holds a stapler in their hand, and shearing is done by squeezing the blades together. The Egyptians, as I noted above, put a spring in there to allow quick and effecient shearing action.

Much later (when exactly is not know, but I do mention some dates above) the cross-bladed shears appeared. These are now known as scissors. They are essentially shears, with the pivot at the middle instead of towards the end of the blades. Handles were also added. This removes the need for a spring, and puts the force of leverage at your side.

The Phrase: "Don't Run with Scissors" is a phrase heard in households everywhere from your Mom. "Running with Scissors" is also the title of a Weird Al album. (Thanks, p_i!)

The Game: Known throughout many countries in countless variations, the North American-titled "Paper, Rock, Scissors" is enjoyed by one and all. But that's a whole other node in it's own.

Fun Scissors Facts: /msg me with any fun scissor facts you may have
Sources: about.com gives special thanks to "J W Hughes" for their research. Also got details from "The Story of Scissors" by J. Wiss & Sons, and got a few tidbits from several websites.

Scis"sors (?), n. pl. [OE. sisoures, OF. cisoires (cf. F. ciseaux), probably fr. LL. cisorium a cutting instrument, fr. L. caedere to cut. Cf. Chisel, Concise. The modern spelling is due to a mistaken derivation from L. scissor one who cleaves or divides, fr. scindere, scissum, to cut, spilt.]

A cutting instrument resembling shears, but smaller, consisting of two cutting blades with handles, movable on a pin in the center, by which they are held together. Often called a pair of scissors.

[Formerly written also cisors, cizars, and scissars.]

Scissors grinder Zool., the European goatsucker. [Prov. Eng.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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