I originally scanned these images from yet another old 1970s Popular Science from my big stack purely for aesthetic reasons: these illustrations, out of context, are baffling and oddly appealing.
But then I read the article, about the Zephinie Escape Chute-- a sort of flexible nylon and fiberglass tube used to rescue people from emergencies in skyscrapers and other situations where the big problem is the distance between the people and the hard, unforgiving ground. There also seems to be a story behind this all-- a bitter, determined story, as Zephinie never seemed to have gotten certification in the US, and feels that sinister, unfair forces were at play.
The website has a bit of that Dr.Bronnerish rambling quality, but the idea certainly seems sound, and is in place in Europe and Asia. Plus, the site references some fascinating metrics like "90 teenagers evacuation per minute." I think the "x teenager evacuation/min" standard is one that probably has lots more use than we think.
For something that I thought was just a funny visual image, I stumbled upon a very interesting device and a compelling story. Not a bad deal from a 32-year old magazine.
Carrie McLaren & Jason Torchinsky are coeditors of _Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture_. In previous lives, they worked together on the hopelessly obscure and now defunct Stay Free! magazine. He lives in LA and writes for the Onio