Saw Ears

I’m not victim to psychoacoustic sounds like fingernails on a blackboard that causes some people to recoil and wrap their lips around their teeth. I am the (seemingly intensely annoying) sort who can merrily use steel to clean glass without flinching.

The screech of file on thin steel is as acutely distressing as fingernails on a blackboard to many individuals as portrayed in this early nineteenth-century cartoon. A dandy, seen waiting in his carriage outside a shop, is tormented by the cacophony created by a peddler in the street filing the teeth of a saw.

[in part] Miseries of Human Life by Isaac Cruikshank, circa 1808.

When sharpening my own saws I would occasionally observe, with some levity, unwary passers-by suddenly shying away from my open door as if they had walked into a particularly malodorous fart.

Jack Plane


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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3 Responses to Saw Ears

  1. Joe M. says:

    Jack….I love the cartoons


  2. D.B. Laney says:

    Where, in the name of all that’s holy, do you find these illustrations – and still find the time to be so very productive?
    Dennis Laney


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