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Exhibition Label: 'In Print' (11/2/2014 - 8/6/2014) - highlights of the print collection

Advertisement, Patent Self-Operating Fire Escape, Printed
by G. Smeeton, London, Early 19th century, Inv. 14056

The patent self-operating fire escape was intended to
enable evacuation from upper floors via a system of pulleys
and levers. A family of eight could be safely evacuated
within two minutes. The publisher of this print, George
Smeeton, witnessed the total destruction of the Covent
Garden Theatre by fire in 1808 and produced a pamphlet
describing the “dreadful conflagration of Covent garden
theatre…”. Perhaps the experience provided his motivation
for publishing this advertisement.

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