Developer of the Pruner
Today is the birthday of Count Bertrand de Molleville, who was born on this day - 275 years ago -in 1744.
During the French Revolution, Molleville escaped to England, where he developed the secateurs or the pruner. He created them to help with pruning grapevines - something he was all too familiar with back home in France. Before the secateurs, a knife or small machete was the primary tool used to prune grapes vines and fruit trees.
That said, by 1840, there was actually a riot over the use of the secateurs in a small French town. When the town agricultural committee met to decide whether the secateurs should replace the pruning knife in the vineyards, over 300 farm workers showed up and marched in the streets to protest the decision. The workers felt that the humble secateurs would replace the need for so many vinedressers. Ah, technology.