Did You Know That A Black Man Invented The Fire Escape Ladder?

1 Posted by - March 17, 2018 - LATEST POSTS

Joseph Winters was important to the safety of people who live in cities. On May 7, 1878, the fire escape ladder was patented by Joseph Winters. Joseph Winters invented a wagon-mounted fire escape ladder for the city of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Joseph Winters was born in 1816 in Virginia to an African-American brick maker and a Shawnee Indian mother. He later relocated to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 1830. During the time Winters lived in Chambersburg, he was active in the Underground Railroad. He was nicknamed “Indian Dick” by his friends due to his mixed race.

Winters noticed that firemen had to take ladders off of their wagons to climb to windows, rescue people, and spray water on fires. He thought they should have ladders that they could raise that were already mounted to the wagon. The ladders were easier to raise with Winters’ invention. It was harder to carry and put up regular ladders. He invented this fire escape in 1878 when cities were beginning to “grow up” instead of “growing out.”

Read More: Black Scientists in America- Joseph Winters

24 Comments

  • Basil White March 11, 2016 - 8:03 am Reply

    Today I learned that the fire escape ladder had to be invented by one smart guy instead of spontaneously emerging as a design feature after we started making multistory buildings out of wood WTF

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    The information was appreciable that you shared on your site. But it’s too short. I am not telling you it was a bad content;If you describe more about “Winters” it should be good. His innovation helps us a lot of repeatedly.My elder brother faced this kind of hassle last year. He saved his life for the firefighters, helping him a lot. They escaped him from his apartment with the ladder. I was a little interested to know that whose innovation is it. I will give you a ton of thanks you helped me to find out my answer. I loved your information. Last, the credit goes to “winter” for his amazing innovation.

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