Vintage Playground Equipment Catalogs from the Building Technology Heritage Library

For Throwback Thursday, thanks to reader Mike for letting me know about the great vintage playground equipment manuals archived at the Building Technology Heritage Library, a project of the Association for Preservation Technology (embedded below; those of you that keep up via email will need to click through to the post)

Who knew that wide slides were inspired by the cellar door?

“For lack of a better name, and because it so quickly reminds the old people of the old-fashioned cellar door at the back of the house, whose inclined surface provided the original slide for children, we are pleased to call this popular piece of apparatus the Cellar Door Slide”…new to the trade c. 1930.


Other catalogs include:
Burke better built equipment for playgrounds, sports and recreation – 1953
Bender playground equipment catalog – 1953
Park, Pool, and Playground Equipment – 1935

3 Responses to “Vintage Playground Equipment Catalogs from the Building Technology Heritage Library”

  1. Susan said:

    My mind immediately went to the song/clapping game “See See My Playmate” and the line “Slide down my rainbow/Into my cellar door/And we’ll be jolly friends/Forever more”

    June 08, 2014 at 1:35 pm

  2. Conuly said:

    I should note that we had a cellar door like that when I was a kid. It was shorter than a real slide, but much steeper, and indeed, the various kids allowed in my yard used to sit on the top to slide down with a quick bump.

    June 05, 2014 at 11:30 pm

  3. Conuly said:

    Yes, of course slides came from cellar doors originally 🙂

    As languagelog notes, for a time the phrase “so and so said you shan’t slide down my cellar door” was used in the same way we might now say “so and so took his ball and went home”.

    June 05, 2014 at 11:28 pm

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