Everyone knows what a ladder is; it is a set of steps that helps us reach high places. You usually don’t think about one until you really need one, but it is one of the most common household tools. Almost everyone has one at home, and its benefits are endless.
Starting from the fire department to your next-door neighbor, everybody uses one. It comes in handy if you are trying to clean your ceiling fan, trying to grab something that you’ve put in a high cupboard, get something stuck in a tree,etc.
So it makes the mind wonder, who invented the ladder? Who was the genius behind this revolutionary creation?
Who Invented the Ladder?
John H. Balsley, an extremely skilled carpenter,is the person who is credited for making the first foldable wooden ladder in the year of 1862. He came into this world in 1823, to George H. Balsley and Sarah Balsley.
His father, George H. Balsley was a carpenter himself. He was born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania and he was considered to be very skillful and talented at his work. Carpentry was his source of income, and it was also his passion.
Ladders had been used in the past before; there is evidence of a similar structure of a set of steps being used to reach heights. The building material and overall design of the ladder was different, but the purpose was similar. John H. Balsley invented a more user-friendly and practical version of it.
Earlier, ladders were made out of grasses or wobbly logs of wood. He invented a more stable ladder which was made out of stronger material and therefore was much safer. His design showcased a more step-like version of the conventional ladder, hence getting its name, stepladder.
Furthermore, his idea of attaching hinges at the top of the ladder and thus making it foldable was also highly appreciated due to its ease of storage. Before his idea, people used to have difficulties storing ladders, and it was a great deal of work carrying it somewhere. His idea made ladders mobile.
He received the first U.S patent issued for a safety stepladder. Later on, he continued on to become a very wealthy businessman by selling his creation.
Although he didn’t technically come up with the original idea of the ladder, he did ameliorate the concept. He introduced a handier, foolproof, and convenient version.His invention is a great contribution to society. It is a great upgrade of its initial versions and is a vital addition to your set of tools and equipment.
How the Ladder was Invented- A Short History of the Ladder
So, when exactly was the ladder invented?
The exact time and date of when the ladder was invented are unclear, but it is believed that the idea dates back ten thousand years. Although it was not as modern and well built as it is now, ladders were used in prehistoric times.
According to scientists and evidence, the ladder was first used in Spain. A painting, displaying two men employing a flimsy ladder to reach a honeybee nest, was found in the spider caves in Valencia. The ladder that was seen on the Mesolithic rock was crafted out of a specific kind of grass.
This was similar to ladders that are made out of rope. Rope ladders are often seen in gyms or often seen thrown off of helicopters on rescue missions.
As time moved on, we saw the progress of the prehistoric version in the form of wooden ladders. Ladders, like any other invention, were improved and upgraded. The idea of a set of steps created from grass inspired many and helped people come along with better ideas.
First came the ladders made of rope or wood and then came along several versions, with varying shapes and sizes, of the ladder.
You can find different kinds of ladders that are fit for your purpose. The telescopic ladder, foldable ladder, sliding ladder, reform ladder, double staircase ladder, are a few of the kinds available in the market for you. In medieval times, ladders were used in wars to cross over huge gates or climb up to windows of castles.
They were also used in daily activities like picking fruits from a tall tree or just simply reaching something placed in high places. The utility of ladders remains quite similar to the olden days. In fact, they serve us in many more ways now.
There are different types of ladders, such as step ladders, telescopic ladders. We use them without knowing their history. So, before you buy a telescopic ladder or any other ladder, you will know who invented the ladder and also a little more about the history and origin of the invention of ladders.