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Man is the creature of impulses. If a steamboat disaster occurs, nearly everyone except those that are drowned, patents a life-preserver. If a fire destroys life and property, fire-escapes at once engage public attention, until a new opera is brought out or some one is murdered. A late conflagration prompted a life insurance company to offer a premium for the best life-saving apparatus in case of fire, the trial to take place in a large fire-proof building, and a great crowd assembled to to witness the result. Jones was the first inventor who gave an exhibition of his patent arrangement. It was an endless wire rope running on drums, which moved by internal clock-work, were arranged to run through all the rooms of a dwelling; and at night, upon going to bed, each member of a family would strap themselves to the rope by a steel-band, and upon the breaking out of a fire it would start by automatic movement, and pull each sleeping member of a family out ®f bed, and carry them down safely through the window. Jones and his family dressed to represent sleeping inmates of the house, retired to bed in three rooms, and everything being in readiness, a pile of shavings was lighted on the ground floor, and smoke and flame puffed out of the window. The next moment an alarm-bell sounded, the rope started, and Jones shot out through the window, followed at intervals by Mrs. Jones and three children. The crowd shouted in admiration, and it was evident from the way clones rubbed the smoke from his eyes that he had just waked up. As he reached the ground he said, with a smile of confidence on his face, “ You see, gentlemen, what a grand success this is 1 ” He had hardly spoken these words when he shot up like a rocket into the burning building again followed by Mrs, Jones and the children, They disappeared through the smoke of one window, and the next moment shot out through another, and down again; but still the energetic and relentless wire carried them until the Jones family began to look liked smoked herrings ; and it was remarked by a by-stander that Jones hadn’t as much hair on his head as when the experiment began, and another suggested that Jones had been going up for his hat. “ For heaven’s sake, gentlemen,” said Jones frantically, “ go up there some of you, and smash that drum-wheel ; it is set to run twelve hours, and it will drag us in an out of those windows seventeen hundred times if you don’t stop it.” The Jones family had some clothing on wher the experiment began, bqt they were clothed ip copfusiori and smoko when i| ended ; and Jones remarked as he wipec the sweat from his perspiring face, tha he had only planned for getting out o the building, and never thought of th endless rope carrying them back again.

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Bibliographic details

A NOVEL FIRE ESCAPE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 107, 1 June 1880

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A NOVEL FIRE ESCAPE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 107, 1 June 1880