This Way to Exit

These Boots Were Made for Safety

Next time you’re lost in a large and confusing building, and you find yourself relying on “Exit” signs to make your way out, thank North Carolinian Charlie Stewart for delivering you to safety.

Stewart was working at Conover Furniture when he suggested that signs with arrows pointing toward the nearest exit would be a boon to the safety and welfare of the factory’s employees and visitors. He was featured in the Summer-Fall 1970 issue of The Broyhill Outlook, a publication of Broyhill Furniture in Lenoir, N.C. There’s no evidence that this was the beginning of a nationwide trend, but I’d like to think so. For his suggestion, which has no doubt saved countless lives over the years, Stewart was awarded a new pair of boots.

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