Tags:
  1. isaac223

    isaac223 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    105

    Did Manual Elevators Ever Use Other Cars as a Counterweight?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by isaac223, Mar 27, 2020.

    I seem to recall reading at some point that some elevators used other elevator cars as a counterweight. How exactly did manual elevators work in this regard? I'm writing a mystery novel set in the 1940/50's England, and the mechanics of manual elevators, including being able to "deadstop" between floors, is an important element of the locked room murder puzzle. Though less important, the nature of the elevator's counterweight would help me establish an extra point in the crime.
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,480
    Likes Received:
    26,342
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    IDK, since most would have been electric with a manual toggle switch
    run by the operator to move the elevator car, so I would assume since
    the winch is tide to the lever switch that they could in theory put it
    in neutral at any point locking the car between floors if they wanted too.

    Though I suppose in theory they could use weighted cars for counter weights
    provided the building has multiple elevators. But ultimately you could just
    rely on the switch breaking freezing the winch in place trapping the occupents
    between floors.
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  3. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    2,423
    Location:
    Texas
    I can't say it never happened, but the documentary I watched about the history of elevators (PBS or History Channel, I forget.) didn't show anything like that. It seems to me that it would counteract some of the safety features they've used since the beginning.
     
    Cdn Writer and Cave Troll like this.
  4. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,306
    Likes Received:
    1,580
    As one of the very few people who have actually operated a manual elevator (a freight elevator in a two-story appliance store), I can state that I could see no counterweight of any sort, although I concede that there may have one that exactly matched the weight of the empty car itself.

    It's hard to imagine how another car could serve as an effective counterweight, since it would have to be out of use or loaded approximately the same as the full car, but going in the other direction.

    The only other elevator that I've seen that used cars as a sort of counterweight were the "Paternosters" once common in some European buildings. They were individual cars that were always in motion, in a continuous loop that went like a conveyor belt:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternoster_lift

    The only thing I could add to that article was that I was told that the name was derived not from the rosary, but from the "Lord's Prayer" that people were thinking of, and were perhaps silently praying, as they rode it
     
  5. isaac223

    isaac223 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    105
    Thanks. The Paternoster performs the function I need for my story!
     
    Iain Aschendale and Cave Troll like this.
  6. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,306
    Likes Received:
    1,580
    I might add that I have some personal experience with the Paternosters as well. When I was nine years old, my family moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where the US Army's headquarters was in the IG Farben Building. My older brother and I would often ride the Paternosters there, and debated whether the entire car flipped over or not. Being smarter than I was, he pointed out that if they did, there would be footprints on the ceiling. But still it was a thrill to ride it all the way to the top and then then down again.
     
    Some Guy likes this.
  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,886
    Likes Received:
    13,304
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Jeez. Any Zyklon B laying around?
     
  8. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,306
    Likes Received:
    1,580
    Not when I was there. But you're right that that chemical conglomerate was the one that produced it. After the war, components of the company were split off and became, among other things, Bayer and BASF (the recording tape people).

    The building has a fascinating post-war history as, first, the headquarters of the US Army in Germany and now as the main building for the Goethe University, with its name changed in honor of its designer, Hans Poelzig.

    The whole story can be found here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IG_Farben_Building

    But since Homer Knew about Zyklon B, he probably knows most of it.

    I have another connection with the building. When I was nine, I fell into the reflecting pool when I was sailing model boats there, and was fished out by a passing GI.
     
    Iain Aschendale likes this.
  9. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    958
    Location:
    San Diego
    I remeber this one from Nanylon Berlin I think.
     
  10. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Uncle! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    16,191
    Likes Received:
    31,225
    Location:
    Off the deep end.
    Jeebus, shades of The Fifth Element there. Guess Germans are too smart and coordinated to need safety regulations.

    At least the ones who live to adulthood, that is.
     
    Some Guy and Hammer like this.
  11. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    3,771
    Likes Received:
    4,042
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Alo
    Although it could be pointed out that repeating the Lord's Prayer is part of the saying of the rosary. At least I think it is: I'm not Roman Catholic, myself.
     
  12. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Uncle! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    16,191
    Likes Received:
    31,225
    Location:
    Off the deep end.
    You mean they don't just count beads and mutter "The rosary, the rosary, the rosary" over and over?

    Hint: I'm not a Catholic either. :)
     
    Some Guy likes this.
  13. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,306
    Likes Received:
    1,580
    Yes, that was mentioned in the Wikipedia article.
     
  14. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,846
    Likes Received:
    20,776
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    We had two of these at Tempelhof, just on our side of the base, so I can only assume the German side of the complex also had them. I was so fascinated by this thing. And then I learned the very G.I. game of getting sloppy drunk off-base, coming home, and trying to get to my floor with this deathlevator, as my friend Lacy came to call it.
     
  15. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Messages:
    6,649
    Likes Received:
    10,032
    Location:
    The kingdom of scrambled portmanteaus
    And live!
     
    JLT and Cave Troll like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice