Pipe Fire Escape Speeds Emptying of Large Buildings (Jun, 1930)

Pipe Fire Escape Speeds Emptying of Large Buildings

A PATENTED circular fire-escape has been developed by which people on the upper stories of burning buildings can slide to the ground below. The fire-escape consists of a large tube of galvanized steel which extends from an upper floor level to the ground. As it is set at an angle, people can slide through it without difficulty. The upper end of the tube enters the room. Over the entrance is a door, so that no drafts will enter the room through the fire-escape. When fire is discovered, the people in the building sit in the upper part of the tube, slide down it, and land on the ground below.

  1. Joel says: March 11, 200910:52 am

    We had one of these at my middle school. We still used it for fire drills until the mid-eighties.

  2. JM says: March 11, 20091:04 pm

    How much building’s stories this tube is useful in? Because at least the building were very large, the angle of the tube will cause the people inside to crash on the floor, although unburned of course.

  3. Shmoo2 says: March 11, 20091:11 pm

    It’s all fun until the fat guy gets stuck near the bottom and theres a traffic jam inside

  4. Jari says: March 11, 20091:18 pm

    Shmoo2, exactly. Certain episode of The Simpsons cames to mind 🙂

  5. Eli says: March 11, 20093:02 pm

    Biggest problem I’d see with this is that every kid in the building would want to play with it.

  6. Steve says: March 11, 20093:08 pm

    We had one of these in my middle school too. Never got to try it out during a fire drill though. 🙁

  7. Toronto says: March 11, 20093:18 pm

    The real funis when they hook up the big vacuum pump after the fire drill andsuck everyone back to their rooms.

    (Cue “Futurama” theme music.)

  8. Warren says: March 11, 20093:38 pm

    To me the best part is the image of the “patient” who was shoved, bedding, pillows and all, down the hatch. Try that today with actual patients and expect a hfty lawsuit, even if you did save them from a fire.

  9. Charlie says: March 11, 20094:09 pm

    Warren: I could see someone claiming emotional distress for having to traumatically relive the birthing process.

  10. Mike says: March 11, 20096:36 pm

    I see these at construction sites, figured they were for garbage.

  11. jayessell says: March 12, 20092:04 pm

    I saw this on the news…


    (Dang! You have to download/view the entire 21 minutes?!?)

    In text and photos:

  12. Joshua says: March 23, 20118:16 am

    Growing up in Blair County Pa we had one as the slide at the Martinsburg Memorial Park in Martinsburg Pa

  13. Brian Voge says: June 7, 201112:58 am

    We had a fire escape tube at my elementary school in Iowa. We loved it and to get everyone use to it, we used it at least twice every day when we went to recess. it really made sense and no one got stuck inside. Even the teacher used it to after the kids had gone down so she could monitor us at recess. We went back in the regular way.
    I’ll bet it saved lives!

  14. Jus says: May 13, 20152:15 pm

    Here in Ft.Worth, TX we had twin steel spiral fire escape slides on the backside of my elementary school (1970). Could not keep us off those slides, they were great fun (but only after hours so we’d not get infractions). Even after the time my best friend landed on my head and caused my front tooth to snap right in half, still could not keep us off those slides. Can still hear that chunk of tooth as it tink-tink-tinkgled down beside me as I slid feet first on my belly. WoW! was that tooth incident painful! AND got a whippin’ to boot, as we were always forbidden to play on the slides. Didn’t matter, we’d be right back, this time with sheets of waxed paper to sit on so we’d REALLY go fast…those were great times! Actually, something could keep us off the slides…the noonday sun on a hot August day. Made our slide fun simply IMPOSSIBLE!

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