|Some of the pruners on display at the Heritage Garden Tool Show|
History of Secateurs
Secateurs were invented by the Marquis Bertrand de Moleville. He was a French aristocrat and politician who had to flee his homeland for exile in Britain during the revolution of 1789. Unlike many of his class he escaped the guillotine blade and this may have inspired him to invent the ‘cutters’ known in French as secateurs in 1815.
Prior to Bonville’s invention European gardeners had used scissors, pruning knives, bill hooks and shears to cut and trim foliage and small branches. De Moleville's new secateurs were a versatile and efficient hand tool and quickly became popular throughout continental Europe. English speaking male gardeners were less taken by this new French invention which was marketed in Britain as suitable only for ladies. This changed later in the 19th century when influential garden writers such as William Robinson promoted their use.
|Three 19th century secateurs from my collection|