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23 Apr 2021

In their rawest forms, ladders are a set of steps (or rungs) joined together by a pole on either side. For centuries, ladders have been a simple yet effective climbing tool, used all over the world in construction, agriculture and around the home. There are a lot of things that wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for the humble ladder, so today we're going to take a deep dive into the history of ladders. If you want to join us for a trip back in time, just keep reading!

Ladders date back such a long time that it's hard to pinpoint the exact time or century that they were invented. That being said, the earliest evidence of ladders that we have can be found in the Spider Caves in Valencia, Spain. Here, you will find a painting of a ladder that's been etched on to the Mesolithic rock for over 10,000 years! The ladder in question appears to be flexible, made of tightly bound grass or plant material, and is being used by two men to access a honeybee nest to collect honey. 


While 10,000 years may seem like a long time to us, there's a lot of research that suggests ladders have been used for much longer than this. Lots of researchers suggest that both ancient Hebrew and Egyptian people will have used ladders to carry out a range of different tasks. Without them, we may not have some of the beautiful ancient architecture, like the Pyramids, that we are able to study today. Ladders were even mentioned in the Bible by Jacob, who dreamt of a ladder that reached from earth to Heaven. 

Skipping forwards a few thousand years, and we can see when the first patent for a folding wooden step ladder came into existence. This patent was obtained by an American man called John H. Balsley on the 7th January 1862. Thanks to Mr Balsley, foldable ladders which could be easily transported from place to place became widely available. This made it much easier for people to pack up their height access equipment and travel with it.

 heavy duty extension ladder

For a long time, the only ladders that people could build or buy were made of natural materials like wood. Widespread use of aluminium ladders didn't happen until the early 19th century. Prior to this, there was no way for ladder manufacturers of extracting enough aluminium out of the ground! For a long time, aluminium was higher in value than gold, but nowadays, aluminium ladders are easy to get hold of and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Modern-Day Ladders

Nowadays, you can buy ladders of all different shapes, sizes and materials. Whether you need a simple wooden ladder or a sophisticated, non-conductive glass-fibre ladder, there'll be something on the modern-day market to suit your needs. 

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we offer all kinds of ladders that are suitable for both trade and domestic jobs. If you've been living in the past and using a simple wooden ladder, it might be time to drag yourself into the 21st century and invest in a lightweight, long-lasting ladder that you can rely on. Don't worry, you won't find any grass ladders here!

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Read More: How to Calculate the Ladder Length You Need

 As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to give a member of the Ladders UK Direct team a call on 01446 789538. We'll help you find the ladder you need at a great price!