John H. Balsley

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

John H. Balsley was born in Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania back in 1823 to George and Sarah. His father was a carpenter by trade, so it was only right that he followed in his father’s footsteps, which of course he did.

In the borough of Connellsville in 1825, a new borough office was created: Keeper of Ladders. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. In any respect that title does not appear after 1831, due to a gap in records from 1835-1856.

Anyway, back to my story for today. Although stepladders had been in use for many years what he did was to replace the round rungs with flat steps. He also invented a practical folding wooden stepladder. He received the first U.S. patent issued for a safety stepladder. He also invented the first adjustable table leg.

Until tomorrow give someone the free gift of a smile

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Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

As many times as I have been on one, I thank him for the convenience.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 28, 2019 03:42 AM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray oh, how I appreciate this invention.... at 5'3" stretched, I use a stepladder for a list of things in my home....including reaching top shelves of cabinets...ugh

Jan 28, 2019 03:43 AM #2
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning James.  The older I get the less I like getting on my stepladders.  Though, I still can't do without them when I need to reach new heights.  

Jan 28, 2019 04:48 AM #3
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

well that is a big deal with coming up with a flat step, smart guy.

Jan 28, 2019 05:08 AM #4
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. John gets my vote for the flat step on a ladder. Enjoy your day 

Jan 28, 2019 05:16 AM #5
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Cool stuff for sure!  The ladder is definitely very useful.  There was a lightbulb that I couldn't change in my house because it was too high, so I had to call my handyman to do so.  He said, really, you can't change a lightbulb by yourself, haha.

Jan 28, 2019 05:54 AM #6
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James - certainly seems like a very simple invention but a very important one.

Jan 28, 2019 06:40 AM #7
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. This is a great read and fascinating as well. Funny to think he invented something we take for granted.

Jan 28, 2019 07:14 AM #8
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Not all inventions are earth shattering as they practical and useful inventions show us.

Jan 28, 2019 07:24 AM #9
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Amazing that he came up with that back then, figure that would of been around longer.


Jan 28, 2019 12:36 PM #10
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

James what a great story.  We happen to have both types of ladders.  Wishing you a great week. A

Jan 28, 2019 01:00 PM #11
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Wow James Dray - We are still using that same basic stepladder today!

Jan 28, 2019 04:42 PM #12
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Go figure James I have three or four Ladders that have flat instead of rolling steps....Endre

Jan 28, 2019 10:08 PM #13
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

got a few step ladders and taller ladders as it is a necessity. I don't know how you would keep your feet from slipping on a rounded step

Jan 29, 2019 05:29 AM #14
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

 Round rung on stepladders have always hurt my feet and the flat ones were definitely a positive approach. Thank you James ....

Jan 29, 2019 06:31 AM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

Well he certainly created a few very useful inventions we are all familiar with! Round rungs are ladders were certainly uncomfortable.


Jan 29, 2019 04:08 PM #16
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

There you go - a very practical and useful invention.  Thank you, John Balsley.

Jan 31, 2019 08:57 AM #17
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James Dray

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