Look Out Below! – Wow Photo Wednesday

[between 1920 and 1940?] Fire department demonstration

Fire department demonstration
Trust is a small word that carries some very big implications.
For example, let’s say you’re a member of the Denver Fire Department sometime between 1920 and 1940, and you’ve been asked to help demonstrate a wonderful piece of rescue equipment called the Browder Life Safety Net. That’s exactly what’s happening in this picture by Mr. Harry Rhoades titled, Fire Department Demonstration (Rh-1200).
The Browder Net was a hinged canvas net that was invented in 1887 and could be folded, then quickly deployed to catch fire victims as they leapt from burning buildings. While the Browder Net was used to some effect for nearly 100 years, it was useful only up to a point. Most sources suggest that the Browder Net was effective for leaps up to six stories (though a few people leapt from eight stories and survived). 
While most of us wouldn’t be too thrilled about leaping out a sixth story window onto a Browder Net, it certainly beat the alternative – and was pretty darned photogenic to boot. 
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