PITTSBURGH’S NOVEL AERIAL LADDER.
Pittsburgh, Pa., is adding to the equipment of its fire department a steel, tubular, aerial ladder, said to be the only one of its kind in America. It will be eighty-one feet wide, and its elevation is accomplished by means of air or carbonic acid gas. It can be run up at an angle, and as the pressure is turned on by one man, the services of from six to eight firemen can thus be dispensed with for work elsewhere. The apparatus being also much shorter than the ordinary ladder t ruck enables it to be driven without the aid of a tillerman, who can thereby be utilized elsewhere. The tube is in four sections, and one slides out from the other like an opening telescope. It carries a man up with it, and a lead of hose,and lodges him in any story that, can be reached. Besides the aerial ladder a chemical engine system is added,which includes a 100gallon tank. In addition, in the Americanized form of the ladder, the deck-turret principle is introduced, and the Siamese coupling enables a two and a half stream to be thrown. To complete the equipment the apparatus carries ladders of assorted sizes. The ladder, which, being of steel, is non-conbustible, is the invention of Col. Richard Scliappler of the German artillery. It is the custom in Germany to detail fire chiefs for large cities from the army. Col. Scliappler, while in the artillery, had much to do with torpedoes, and thus learned something of pressure. When made fire chief, in Frankfort-on-the-Main, he applied his knowledge and devised the aerial ladder. Eleven of these ladders are in operation in Germany and Austria at present.