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