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Ladder View Interactive Version ]

This compact, folding ladder, attributed to the Monticello joinery, closes into an unobtrusive pole. According to tradition, the ladder was used to reach the great clock in the Entrance Hall for its weekly winding. Although the source for the design is not known, Jefferson noted seeing "a folding ladder" in Bergen, Germany during a trip there in 1788.

Efficient and portable ladders such as these were also helpful outside. In Rural Affairs (1877), J.J. Thomas recommended a similar design for pruning trees.

Artist/Maker Unknown
Createdafter 1790
Origin/PurchaseMonticello Joinery
Object TypeFurniture and Lighting
Dimensions167 x 113 in.
LocationEntrance Hall


  1. Edward H. Pinto, Georgian Library Steps: 103-104.

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