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Ladders in Sieges

August 31, 2016 1
The medieval period is an interesting one. Our technology and culture seemed to almost regress from the technological and social advancements made by the Greeks and Romans that came before. It is an example of how truly devastating the collapse of an Empire and a dark age can be. Ladders were used regularly in this period, much like through the rest of history, but they weren’t just used for construction and decoration. Ladders were turned into tools of war during this period, and ones that could aid armies in causing huge amounts of damage to castles and fortresses. The ladders became a formidable foe!Why Ladders?The best thing about ladders in this period is that they were made from wood. This made it very easy to find the materials needed to build them and assemble them. This simple a...
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Ladders and Bad Luck

August 26, 2016 0
Ladders are known for causing bad luck if you walk under them. It’s interesting to see how superstitions are created and carry on even into the modern day. We know not to stand under one, but many people still don’t know why that is. How did the ladder come to be seen as a symbol of bad luck, and why is standing under one so bad? In this article, we will explore the origin of this superstition.Of course, walking under a ladder is generally unsafe and not advised, but there is more to this superstition than safety precautions. There are actually several theories with regards to where this interesting belief originated.Christianity and LaddersCuriously, one of the theories originates with Christianity. It is believed that the Holy Trinity forms a triangle as it has three points (just as ...
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Ladders - A Look Back

August 12, 2016 0
Ladders are such useful, commonplace items in our world that we rarely stop and think about their origins and history. They are used for so many purposes, and even mentioned at various and frequent points during history, myth, and legends. The word ‘ladder’ can be traced as far back as having Latin origins, which is unsurprising considering they were used even in the Roman era. Where did the ladder come from and how has it been used throughout history? While its exact origins may be less clear than we would like, it’s interesting to see how this handy tool has been used across the ages.Early OriginsThe ladder is thought to have been first used during the Mesolithic period around 10,000 years ago. A cave painting found in Spain depicts two men climbing a ladder to reach a beehive so t...
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Why Getting off the Ladder Can Be an Excellent Choice

February 25, 2015 0
When Jerry Snyder, head basketball coach at Lake City, Minnesota, got down off a ladder in the late 1970s on the off chance that the tall kid walking along the pavement could play basketball he made one of the best choices of his career.  He had spotted highschooler Randy Breuer walking with friends in the neighbourhood.  Whilst painting a house for a summer job in the late 1970s he noticed that one of the group was at least two feet taller than the others, so Snyder took the chance that this impossibly tall child could be a future basketball star and descended his ladder to talk to him.  Fast forward a couple of years and the tall child from the pavement was playing for Lake City in a state-wide league, and would be playing for Minnesota the year after.When Jerry got down off that ladd...
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History of the Ladder

July 23, 2014 1
The ladder is an everyday object that we take for granted. The simple construction serves its purpose and has remained largely unchanged since ladders were first used several thousand years ago. No one really knows where or when the first ladder was built and used, but one of the earliest recordings of a ladder exists in a rock painting from the Mesolithic era (10,000 years ago) in Spain. The painting depicts two people using a long ladder, which appears to be made from plant fibres, to reach a wild bee nest in order to harvest the honey. That long ago, wild honey was the only source of sweetness in the human diet, as bees had not become domesticated and sugar cane was also not cultivated. It is not hard to imagine that some ladders were first developed in order to harvest honey, as this i...
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How a Ladder Helped Catch a Criminal

October 24, 2013 0
A ladder as a crucial piece of evidence? The famous case of the Lindbergh baby is still considered by some to be unsolved: there are disagreements over the quality and existence of some of the evidence used to convict Bruno Richard Hauptmann of the kidnap and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr.  Charles Lindbergh Jr., the 'Lindbergh baby', was found to be missing from his crib at around 10pm on the 1st of March, 1932 in the family home at East Amwell, New Jersey. The body of the child was found on 12th May, 1932 in a nearby township and appeared to have been hastily buried but dug up by wild animals.  A ransom note was found on the windowsill and a chisel and wooden dowel were also found in the grounds of the home.  However, one of the key pieces of evidence was a ladder found in bushes near t...
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Ladders to Scale the Roof of The World

May 30, 2013 0
Mount Everest is one of the most desirable climbs for any mountaineer and the peak is classed as "the roof of the world", along with other high peaks in the interior Asian mountain ranges. The last stage of the climb is known as the Hillary Step, after Sir Edmund Hillary, the man who first navigated the vertical face to reach the peak on 29th May, 1953, almost exactly sixty years ago. Nowadays, hundreds of people a year undertake and achieve the impressive feat, but the sheer numbers of people involved (not to mention that each climber or team is accompanied by a Sherpa, trained and experienced in that particular mountain) mean there is now a traffic jam around the Hillary Step. Already in 2013, more than 520 people have reached the summit, and given the short climbing windows available du...
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Fire Ladder Trucks: How It All Began

May 18, 2013 0
Over a hundred years ago in Massachusetts, America, a fire chief named Edward F. Dahill in New Beford invented an aerial ladder hoist, which enabled firefighters to put up a ladder of up to seventy feet in seven seconds (that's almost as fast as the fireman shooting up the ladder in the crazy video we put up a link to on Thursday, check it out if you haven't already). In this case to put it up so fast two cylinders holding compressed air were deployed to raise the ladder, negating the need for firefighters to manually raise the ladder, thereby saving crucial time at the scene of an emergency.A Legal Battle for Ladders Dahill's invention was taken up by the Ahrens Fire Engine Company, founded in 1905 after a legal battle to extricate themselves from the newly formed American-LaFrance Fire E...
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Ever Walk Under Ladders?

May 17, 2013 0
In today's modern world, myth, legend and superstition may be considered to have little part to play. But despite this, many people take great interest in the little wives tales that surround us and a fair few actually heed the morals and warnings that they contain.  A black cat has caused the hairs on many a back of the neck to stand to attention, not to mention the seemingly ingrained instinct to handle any mirror with the up most care and respect for fear of breaking it and gaining 7 years bad luck. Another superstition that appears to be fixed in the British psyche is, of course, that it is bad luck to walk under ladders. Now, this does make sense from the outset. Ladders can be wobbly: there is a risk that the person working on the ladder may drop something or indeed fall themselves o...
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Ladders and Nature - Inspiration?

May 10, 2013 0
The premise of a ladder has been with humans for many thousands of years, but where did we get the idea from? To climb into the heavens is not a natural feat for a human being; we bipeds lack the strength and agility of our primate cousins and generally prefer to keep our feet firmly on the ground anyway. But, like our closest animal relatives, we still relied heavily on the fruits and flowers high above us in the canopy. And quite frankly, we needed to develop a way of getting at them.No Ladders? Make Like a Frog! Tree trunks have been nature’s ladders for millions of years. Insects, lizards, mammals, pretty much anything with a head for heights and a sense of balance will climb a tree trunk to get to the prize above. We humans have had to develop special techniques to be able to join ...
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