Recently, an older home came on the market in Winnetka and I went to have a look. It was a frame home on a large lot, possibly a tear down in the near future.
The house was empty and quite dated inside but it's always interesting to look at architectural details, the finely grained wood floors, moldings, and other flourishes of older homes. I climbed to the second floor and entered one of the bedrooms that was along the front of the house. I saw something that I had not seen before. A vacuum cleaner? Some sort of intercom? A weapon, a blow dryer?
It was an old fire escape system called the Davy Automatic Safety Fire Escape. I decided to do a little research. There wasn't much to find except that it was originally manufactured in the 1920s in Syracuse, New York. But now, it seems that it's only sold in Britain for around $860 - and that's without shipping. You can still find it here: Davy Descender
It looks almost the same as it used to but it's been modernized and now called the Davy Descender. It works as a simple pulley - one person sits in a sling and goes down. When they get off, the person waiting at the top gets on and goes down while the original sling comes back up. No hurrying around looking for that darned window ladder that's stuck under the bed. It's always ready to go, although a little ungainly looking.
I come across some interesting oddities looking at older homes in the North Shore. Makes for an interesting job sometimes.
Filed under: Real Estate