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What chainsaw did that movie use? – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

As Halloween approaches it is a good time to watch your favorite horror movies. Chainsaws are a popular choice for many a horror movie character, but did you ever wonder ‘what type of chainsaw is that?’

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was released in 1974 and quickly became a horror classic. The chainsaw used by Leatherface in the “Chainsaw Massacre” was a Poulan 306a. In the movie there was a piece of black tape over the brand name but the green case gives it away.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre theatrical poster image via Wikipedia
Poulan 306a chainsaw image via

The Poulan 306a was introduced in 1970 and produced until 1980. The Poulan Company was founded by lumberjack Claude Poulan in 1946. The company was located in Shreveport, Louisiana, making the 306a a nice local option for a “Texas” chainsaw massacre.

The Lumber Museum does not have a Model 306a in our collection but we do have a Poulan Model 52 (LM2018.6.1A-B) Introduced in 1951, this two-man saw was the first chainsaw to be designed and produced in-house by the Poulan Company. This collection piece was used during demonstrations at the Woodsmen’s Carnival at Cherry Springs Park in the 1950’s by Robert Peffer, who sold chainsaws from his Harmony, PA store.

The Engine of the Poulan Model 52 saw showing where the bar attaches (LM2018.6.1A)
Side View of the Poulan Model 52 (LM2018.6.1A)
The Bow Bar for the Poulan Model 52 (LM2018.6.1B)

As a heavy saw requiring two-man operation, this Poulan Model 52 would not be the practical choice for a Texas chainsaw massacre…