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A New Fire Escape.

{From the Pall Mall Gazette.)

A new fire escape has just been invented and patented by a colored man from Virginia in New York. Some of the engineers of the fire department in that city are emphatic in their approval of tins invention, which has attracted more than usual attention, as being the first on which a colored man has secured letters patent in the United States. The main points in the invention are that the ladder itself are of the ordinary trestle or zigzag lattice work, such as may be seen in children’s toys for moving the figures of soldiers. This ladder, when not in use, shuts down very compactly upon the car which carries it. A steel or iron bar resting upon spiral springs prevents any harsh shock in the letting down of the ladder, which is raised by a very simple shaftinr and gearing. The foot of the ladder is worked by a very powerful screw turned forward or backward by wheels with simple gearings, operated through cranks by two or three men. Another simple device in the way of shafting and gearing provides for the thrusting of the top of the ladder against the wall. If the heat in case of a fire proves too intense this mechanical contrivance permits the ladder to bo thrown back from the building many feet. It is asserted that the ladder can be thrown thirty feet forward from the perpendicular line. The ladder, when rising by the power of the screw, can lift with ease the firemen and hose necessary. Provision is made for a car supported by ropes attached to the ascending ladder, for the relies of persons and property endangered by fire. The ladder can not only be used as a fire escape, but also as a pike to throw threatening walls inward ; the leverage is said to be tremendous. The weight of an eight-foot ladder will not be more than ten or twelve hundred pounds. A machine of this pattern is, it is stated, in successful operation at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. There is plenty of room for improvement in fire escapes ; but the best fire escape that can be invented will be behind the requirements of such machines unless it can be moved rapidly to the place where it is wanted.

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Bibliographic details

A New Fire Escape., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 15, 30 October 1879

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A New Fire Escape. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 15, 30 October 1879