The Nov./Dec. 1980 issue of Flight Safety Foundation's Cabin Crew Safety Bulletin includes a history of the inflatable evacuation slide. Prior to the development of the inflatable slide, emergency egress options included jumping out the door (practical only in small aircraft with doors that were close to the ground), knotted ropes, and non-inflatable fabric chutes (which required people to hold handles on the lower end—leading to the question of how to get those people to the ground first).
illustration from Eastern Airlines B727 passenger briefing card
Aviation Safety Network provides detailed descriptions of airliner, military transport category aircraft, and corporate jet aircraft safety occurrences including accidents, incidents, and hijackings from around the world. (1919-present)
A companion to the official ASN Aviation Safety Database, the Aviation Safety WikiBase contains user-entered information on accidents not included in the main database. These entries have not been verified for accuracy or completeness and, as with any wiki, should not be used as an authoritative source. (1905-present)