Archive for March, 2011

Can You Identify This Old Part?

Can You Identify This Old Part?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

These photos and e-mail were sent by Kim W. She asked “What the heck is it”?  While it looks like it may have been a car switch there don’t appear to be enough contacts to control a motor. Typically you’d have at least two in both up and down directions at a minimum. Some had 10-12 which are still available over at . Cutler Hammer back in the day manufactured elevator parts and actually had C.J. Anderson fabricate many of the switching devices that they sold under the Cutler Hammer name. No longer are these parts available from Cutler Hammer C.J. Anderson still fabricates many of them still today.

The actual e-mail and photos are below. If you know what this is or would like to share your opinion of what it might be please comment below.

I have an item that I don’t know what it is, does it have a value, are there collector’s for this type of item?, etc.
I am hoping that if I can give you a description and what little info I have gotten, you can answer some of my questions, or point me in a direction that could help me.

This item is made of a heavy metal. It is black, round, has a single electrical cord attached, it has a handle that turns the center section, I think…
There is a metal plate on this item and here is the information on that metal plate:
Milwaukee, Wis.
volts: 110      MAX AMPS: 10 – 2.5
16  C.P. LTS. 20      CAT NO  24115
SER NO. 682805      PAT’D  FEB. 27, 1899

******I was told that it possibly had something to do with elevators so that is why I have contacted you.

Any information that you can share with me would be greatly appreciated.

Kim W.

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Posted in Elevators - 1900-1930 | 8 Comments

Elevator Museums

Monday, March 21st, 2011

A nice e-mail from Robert Vogel regarding elevator museums in Europe. I wanted to share this with everyone who might be interested. Currently there is one online Elevator Museum supported by Elevator World Magazine. 


Elevator Museums 

When last I looked (1987, I think it was), there appeared to be exactly two elevator museums in the entire world:
One was/is near Amsterdam, consisting of a good collection of early of elevator equipment, both hydraulic and electric, assembled by Otis’s Netherlands agent (whose name I now forget). As I recall, it wasn’t staffed and was open only by application to the above-mentioned man.
The other was/is in Budapest. It was organized by the manager of the (Communist) state elevator factory. Like his Dutch counterpart, he had an abiding interest in elevator history, and whenever they pulled out an early machine or lift system to replace it with modern equipment, he would appropriate it for his museum.
I had the pleasure of visiting both establishments in about the above year, to find, not too surprisingly, that neither was exactly overrun with other visitors. The Hungarian collection was a bit less interesting than the Dutch, most of the machines being relatively small drum electrics, plus a middle-aged car or two.   I’ve had no contact with either since then and, in fact, have to wonder whether either survives today, what with the likely retirement of both men, and particularly Hungary’s radically changed political basis.

Robert Vogel

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Posted in Articles | 1 Comment

Otis Employee 184…Who Are You?

Monday, March 21st, 2011

I recieved the e-mail below with some great photos. We are in search of whom this may have belonged to. Employee number 184 who are you? If anyone from Otis has older records that might be able to identify who this pin might have been worn by we’d love to hear from you.

Original E-mail:

Tom  ,I finally got around to this. Let me know what you think.  I met up with an Otis  mechanic who knows  some retired Otis mechanics so he is going to show them a pin ,see what they say.  We were thinking maybe from the 1950’s or 60’s .50 cents for a lost pin in the in the30’s 0r 40’s would have been a lot of money.    Let me know . I’m also sending this to a rep at Otis who was at our shop It’s possible they still have a record of the ID # on the badge and who wore it .Current mechanics are in 3 digit numbers now . So that could date them better  possibly.   ……………….Scott


If you’ve got any information at all regarding this pin please comment in the space below. Thanks!

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Posted in Elevators - 1931-1950 | 1 Comment

Old Elevator Cab Info Needed

Monday, March 21st, 2011

elevatorcabAt first this appeared to be some type of tellers box but after reviewing it a little more closely the scissor gate would indicate it’s an elevator cab. Looks to be around the turn of the century and we’re waiting for more images to post. If you’ve got more information on it please post it in comments below.

This post/image was submitted by David B. – Philadelphia, PA

Posted in Elevators - 1900-1930 | 1 Comment