Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Down here, I am.

Find a ladder, I must.  ~Yoda (Frank Oz)


I have resumed my teaching, and I look at all the eager faces in front of me, all waiting to climb the ladders of success, and, of course, ladder catches my curiosity.  Lately, ladders have been best sellers in the repurpose world.

Ladders are ancient tools and technology. A ladder is depicted in a Mesolithic rock painting that is at least 10,000 years old, depicted in the Spider Caves in Valencia, Spain.  The story behind the painting is that a person is harvesting honey from a hive, and he is on some sort of rope ladder.
The Bible has the story of  Jacob's Ladder in Genesis, and I always liked William Blake's rendering of Stairway to Heaven (not to be confused with Led Zeppelin's--showing my age...old I am!)
What is interesting is the number of ladder-related injuries in the United States increased by more than 50 percent from 1990 to 2005, says a study in an issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.  I am sure those DIY or HGTV shows have a part in that number! Oh, yes, you can do that ...no problem!
 
However, they found that more than 2.1 million people were treated in hospital emergency departments for ladder-related injuries from 1990 to 2005. That averages out to more than 136,000 cases a year. Almost 10 percent of those 2.1 million people needed to be hospitalized, about twice the overall admission rate for consumer-product related injuries. Males accounted for nearly 77 percent of all ladder-related injuries. Fractures were the most common type of injury, and legs and feet were the most frequently injured parts of the body.
 
The study also found that, among cases were location was recorded, 97 percent of injuries occurred at homes, farms and other non-occupational settings.
 
John Balsey who lived from 1823-1895 was a master carpenter and invented the practical folding ladder.  He received the first US patent for that in 1862, and, although stepladders had been in use for many years before 1862, his primary contribution to safety was the replacement of round rungs by flat steps. He became a wealthy businessman because of his inventions.
 
Now we have some little ladders that work quite nicely for display...not for climbing!
They work as end tables in an urban farmhouse setting...and there are different styles when you stop to look at them...

You know we love ladders...our crystals hang brightly from the back rungs of our mega ladder in the front room.  So, take your old ladder to new heights...new uses...new rungs!
"The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher."  ~ Thomas Huxley
 

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