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victorian review • Volume 34 Number 1 52 Johnston, M. George. History of the British Zoophytes. 2 vols. London: J.VanVoorst, 1847. Jordan, Steven L.“TheTalisman of the Deep: Coral Jewelry.” Collector’s Universe 1999. 20 August 2007 . Kingsley, Charles. Glaucus,or the Wonders of the Shore. London: Macmillan, 1855. Lewes, George Henry. Sea-side Studies. Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1858. Lightman, Bernard. Victorian Popularizers of Science: Designing Nature for New Audiences. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 2007. Montgomery, James. The Pelican Island,and Other Poems. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1827. O’Day, Deirdre. Victorian Jewellery. London: Letts, 1974. Rudwick, Martin J. Science from DeepTime: Early Pictorial Representation of the Prehistoric World. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1992. “Something About Coral.” Peter Parley’s Annual: A Christmas and NewYear’s Present forYoung People 1853: 241–46. Stafford, Barbara.“Images of Ambiguity: Eighteenth Century Microscopy and the Neither/Nor.” Visions of Empire: Voyages,Botany and Representations of Nature. Ed. David Philip Miller and Peter Hans Reill. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge UP, 1993. 230–57. Stoddart, David R.“Darwin, Lyell and the Geological Significance of Coral Reefs.” British Journal for the History of Science 9 (1976): 199–218. Stott, Rebecca.“Darwin’s Barnacles: Mid-Victorian Natural History and the Marine Grotesque.” Transactions and Encounters: Science and Literature in the 19th Century. Ed. Roger Luckhurst and Josephine McDonagh. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2002. 151–81. Tolini, Michelle.“‘Beetle Abominations’ and Birds on Bonnets: Zoological Fantasy in Late-Nineteenth-Century Dress.” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide Spring 2002 . Turkle, Sherry, ed. Evocative Objects:Things toThink With. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 2007. Wiley, George, ed. The Poems of James Montgomery. Sheffield: Hallamshire, 2000. • Fire Escape Jen n ifer Bla ir • The term “fire escape” seems to describe an action rather than a thing.An “escape” is an event, a motion, a traversal beyond some sort of constrictive place or situation. Scientifically speaking, “fire” is an event too. Put the two terms together, however, and we find ourselves with something that counters what each one signifies individually: a“fire escape,” at least as we know it today, is a structure fixed to or within a building. It does not move and is hardly an event, since it carries on its service of providing the means of escape even in the absence of fire. In theVictorian period of fire-escape design, however, it had not yet been decided that fire escapes should be structures that stayed still, functioning as “escapes” only by providing an apparatus upon which people could leave burning buildings by means of their own self-propelled movements (walk- 53 Victorian Things: Blair ing, descending stairs, etc.).There were escapes of this sort in the nineteenth century, escapes that most often took the form of iron staircases and balconies fixed to building exteriors. But there were also several others in use at this time that were designed on the principle that the fire-escape structure itself should do the moving, with—and sometimes even instead of—the people. In the Burrows Escape, for example, building inhabitants were lowered to the ground inside a wire basket attached to ropes on a pulley system.The basket would travel from window to window to pick up passengers—around five at a time—before delivering them to safety on the ground. Halifax, Nova Scotia, city planner Edward Henry Keating praised the Burrows Escape in an 1883 report of his tour through the northeastern U.S., where he investigated new fire safety measures to bring back to Canada. Keating provided the illustration given here in order to “show more explicitly the manner of attaching and operating this form of fire escape which the Inspector of Buildings has approved of and considers the best and cheapest appliance for saving life yet invented” (26). Keating saw the Burrows Escape at Riggs’ Hotel inWashington, where there was a basket installed on each of the building’s four sides (Keating 25). Hotels were of particular concern for fire-escape designers because the occupants would always be unfamiliar with the building.They might also be, as the New The Burrows Escape. Illustration from Edward Henry Keating, Fire Departments,Fire Apparatus,and Fire Escapes,A Report on...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 52-56
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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