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Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
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In Holland the city of Amsterdam above most homes there is ...

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In Holland the city of Amsterdam above most homes there is a post or metal rail with a hook suspended from this portrusion, please tell me the history behind these hooks? Thanks

Since Amsterdam is a city of canals and the houses were built relatively close to one another on narrow streets, these hooks suspended from the metal railing or post, were used as a pulley system, to get furniture up to the second floor.

"Almost all of the canal houses have one tremendously practical feature - a hook mounted on a projecting cantilevered beam at the centre of the roof, to allow bulky furniture and goods to be lifted by rope and pulley to enter via the windows. The lots are so narrow (apparently, they were taxed by frontage, not floor area), that the stairwells just wouldn't allow large objects to be carried up them. These beams and hooks seem to have offered their designers license for expression - they tend to be exuberant in their curves and coves." (Source:

I hope this helped.

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