The History of the Firehouse Pole

During the 19th century, firefighters in the United States had two ways to make their way from their beds to their horse and buggy: “spiral staircase—installed to keep wayward horses from wandering upstairs—or through a tube chute.” That was until the ingenious David Kenyon installed a pole at Chicago’s all-Black firefighter Company 21 firehouse. Kenyon had seen a colleague use a “wooden pole normally used …

Cars Banned From San Francisco’s Busiest Street

In an effort to ease congestion, improve conditions for cyclists, and make way for publicly funded restorations of sidewalks, transit lines and streets, San Francisco officially banned the presence of cars (except some official vehicles) on the city’s busiest thoroughfare: Market Street. Following similar legislation passed in cities including Paris, Madrid and NYC, San Francisco formulated a $600 million plan to revitalize its current systems …

The Teenage Inventor of a Blind Spot Solution

14-year-old Alaina Gassler’s “Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blind Spots” project, which took first prize for STEM excellence at the Broadcam MASTERS competition, eliminates blocks in vision created by obstructive interiors. In essence, Gassler has eliminated a driver’s blind spot. Using a webcam, projector, and 3D-printed materials, Gassler configured a camera to capture the area blocked by the a-pillar and the projector to display the feed …