LADDER, (O. Eng. hlaeder; of Teutonic origin, cf. Dutch leer, Ger. Letter; the ultimate origin is in the root seen in "lean," >Gr. K\i>a), a set of steps or " rungs " between two supports to enable one to get up and down; usually made of wood and sometimes of metal or rope. Ladders are generally movable, and differ from a staircase also in having only treads and no " risers." The term " Jacob's ladder," taken from the dream of Jacob in the Bible, is applied to a rope ladder with wooden steps used at sea to go aloft, and to a common garden plant of the genus Polemonium on account of the ladder-like formation of the leaves. The flower known in England as Solomon's seal is in some countries called the " ladder of heaven."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)