Silver’s Automatic Fire Escape.
Man’s ingenuity cannot be more creditably employed than in providing means for the safety of human life, and none of life’s perils can compare in horror to that of being burnt alive within eyesight but out of handreach of his fellows, and yet such terrible fate is continually befalling many unfortunates. This simple device. Silver’s Automatic Fire Escape, is certainly one of these tangible efforts wherein ingenuity effects the certain rescue of fire imperilled ones.
Mr. Silver, the inventor and patentee, has proceeded in a practical manner to have his contrivance subjected to severe criticism and test by the most competent authorities before placing it on the market. He turned over a number of his escapes to the Chicago Fire Department with the single remark : “ Try them and pass judgment.” This was accordingly done by twelve of the fire captains and Chief Horan of the 1st battalion, at a recent session of their fire school, and here is the judgment given.
FIRE DEPARTMENT OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO.
Headquarters 1st Battalion, Chicago, November 29, 1893. D. J. Swenie. Esq.,Fire Marshal ana Chief of Brigade :
Sir.—After a trial of the Silver Automatic Fire Escape at the house of Hook and Ladder Company No. 6, I find it to be a simple, safe and practical contrivance.
[Signed.] JAMES HORAN,
Chief of Battalion.
The chief virtue of this escape is its utter simplicity, and its trifling cost. When one sees it work he wonders why such a simple and positive means of lowering a life, or a load of valuables from upper floors to the ground in an instant of danger, was not thought of and in use long ago. There is no metal mechanism of any sort to get out of gear by rust, dust, weather or any means. A child can operate it, a woman can send her baby, her books, trunk or any valuables down to safety without halt or hinder.
The wish is that it may hang idle and useless forever, but should the dread moment come, as come it many times has and will, then indeed the escape is more precious than jewels.
The escape is operated as follows : The hook A is securely attached to the ceiling, wall or floor, to this is hung the governor B. In case of fire the slip noose belt C is placed around the body under the arms, and the person lets himself out of the window and simply lets go his holt, and the escape does all the balance. As soon as the weight comes on the rope it causes the governor B to take a circular swinging motion, and thus plays out the line wrapped around it. This governor – controls the speed of descent, and it is impossible to go either too fast or too slow. The hook should always be attached in a position that will allow the governor to take its free rotary motion in a circle whose radius is nearly the length of the governor ; a small child let down goes at the same speed as a fullgrown man, so perfect is the governor control. There should be an escape provided for each person in the room, for as soon as one is down, the unwound governor should be removed from the hook and another one attached in its place for the next to go down. Extra ones should also be provided in case valuable baggage, etc., should need to be lowered and saved. These escapes are made of sizes to suit height of floors above ground, also made to be carried in valises for travelers, etc.
The price is but $2.25 each, and this puts it within the reach of the million.
Mr. Silver’s advertisement appears elsewhere in our columns.
At the annual meeting of the Peekskill (N. Y.) Fire Department, D. C. Hasbrouck was elected second assistant engineer.