Visit Homepage
Skip to content →

Scissors

REPURPOSED TOOLS: SCISSORS

“In the early days of Las Placitas, the men and the women were forced through necessity to make every tool and implement with which they worked…”

Interview of Jose Gurule, Benino Archibeque, Concepcion Archibeque
Interviewer: Mrs. Lou Sage Batchen, March 27, 1942, Las Placitas, NM
American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project,
1936 – 1940. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

These scissors are an example of the application of human ingenuity in the repurposing of tools. In this case an old pair of sheep shears – a common tool in New Mexico – have been repurposed into a pair of scissors. In this case the following has occurred:

  1. The blades of a set of sheep shears have been cut apart.
    1. We know this because the scalloped edge along the bottom of each blade is indicative of sheep shears (see context support photograph)
  1. The blades have been reversed and rejoined with an iron brad in the manner of scissors.  
    1. We know this because:
      1. The flat edge of a set of shears is the back or non-cutting edge,
      2. The curved edge of a set of shears is the inside or cutting edge,
      3. On our scissors the blades have been reversed:
        1. The cutting edge is the flat edge,
        2. The non-cutting edge is the back edge,
        3. Wear from previous use shows clearly on the OUTSIDE of the blades instead of on the inside where the blades would normally rub against each other.

Return to Tools overview

Print Friendly