An idea whose time has come--again

Posted by Amaranth Rose on May 06, 2002 at 20:07

Re: Fire Extinguisher Balls (I. S.)

This is a refreshing new twist on a very old idea. If you examine some of the works of the old Rennaissance Art masters, you will find that in their renditions of Alchemist's laboratories they have faithfully reproduced the settings, right down to the large liquid filled spheres that occupy spots along the walls and rest in strategically located iron stands. These glass globes were filled with carbon tetrachloride, a non-flammable liquid, and were designed to be thrown into any conflagration. The globes being glass, and the laboratories mostly stone, the predicable result was that the globe shattered, spewing this volatile but inert liquid everywhere. You stood a fair chance of putting out the fire if you were a good aim, and if you were able to promptly escape the carbon tetrachloride fumes, you were likely to survive to make another mistake in the laboratory.

I'm pretty certain they didn't make wild loud noises or spurt foam and spew powder, and I'm nearly positive they didn't come in designer colors; nor were they temperature activated, particularly, though they surely would have burst due to BLVE at some point if subjected to enough heat. But once a person had survived an Alchemist's apprenticeship long enough to learn the art of glass blowing and how to produce carbon tet, I expect they might reasonably hope to live to be an old, if not bold, alchemist.

I think this is a wonderful idea, and I hope to see it take root and grow. As many of these shiny, iridescent, brightly colored globes as I see people here buying to put out in their gardens to "Gaze" at, there seems to be a craze for shiny spheres right now. I didn't work out the price conversion, but it sounds like for the price of a nice steak dinner people could have a nice decorative accent item that could buy them precious seconds in which to escape and rescue their loved ones from disaster.

Quite possibly this is one of the most important inventions of the twenty-first century. I doubt it will replace the built-in sprinkler system, but I think it's a great idea. An idea, ironically, whose time has come, again.

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