April 8, 1766

On April 8, 1766, the first fire escape was supposedly patented. There is a rudimentary drawing that showed a wicker basket attached to a rope and pulley system that would allow people to lower themselves to the ground from a second, third, or fourth floor window. There is not an identifiable inventor for this contraption. Many people over the years have stated that being thrown out a window would have been safer than using the contraption pictured in 1766. Gaspard II de Coligny, Gary Hoy, William Douglas, Miguel de Vasconcelos, Alexander I of Serbia, and Ivan Safronov would disagree if they were still alive. They all died from being thrown out of a window. They were defenestrated. Dying by being thrown out of a window is called defenestration. It’s happened enough times throughout history that we’ve invented a word for it. So, the rickety basket that might tip over is much better than just being thrown out of a window.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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