What’s This Pole Thingy For?

Okay, classmates, we have all seen this many times, but what’s it for?IMG_20160327_101246 1

I found this nicely shaped wooden pole with a brass end in the corner of a closet at the Peirce–du Pont House at Longwood Gardens. I know it is for something with the windows—maybe to raise and lower the high, out-of-reach upper sash—maybe to pull down the shade—maybe to lock the window. But what, exactly?

It is not a boat-hook.

I saw it in the East Lansdowne Grade School, the new one built in the 1940s (okay, okay, it was new to me). I saw it in the Highland Avenue Junior High School, the one originally built as a church by Leif Erikson himself, just like the ones on the icy tundra of home.  I saw it propped in a corner of Mr. Epley’s biology laboratory in Lansdowne High.

When I first saw it at Longwood Gardens, I immediately recognized a familiar childhood friend.

I think the knob fit into a grommet in a shade, or a metal-lined hole in the upper window sash, or a ring on the end of the window lock, but the Peirce–du Pont House no longer has any of these, and the pole was placed in a dark corner of a dark closet and forgotten until I blew off the dust and brought it out into the light to take its picture.  As I often remind visitors in the summer, air conditioning was not yet invented when Pierre du Pont built the House, so opening and closing the windows and shades must have been a frequent occurrence in the early days.

What was the pole for, and what is it called?  What, what, what?


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
This entry was posted in History, Longwood Gardens. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What’s This Pole Thingy For?

  1. Wayne Kressley says:

    I recall that the tall windows in our class rooms had metal frames with latches that had holes into which the end of the tool you are showing fit to lock and unlock the upper windows.

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