Century of Development For Aerial Ladders

Issue 11 and Volume 130.

Century of Development For Aerial Ladders features What fire fighters needed most a century ago was a good aerial ladder. The state of the art in pump technology was relatively high, but departments had yet to find a safe and sturdy aerial ladder to supplant ground extension ladders, some of them 75-footers which required nine men to raise. These big sticks were heavy, lacked maneuverability, snapped easily and tended to fall over in strong winds. Suitable aerials had been attempted. The Scott-Uda was best known. These 100-foot aerials were stacked eight sections deep in the wagon bed. Sections were attached with bracing rods and hand-raised by a crank and cogwheel system. On September 14, 1875, a Scott-Uda broke during a demonstration in New York. Three fire fighters fell and were killed. The tragedy ended the use of Scott-Udas in New York and they were seldom used elsewhere. Another ladder was…

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