Need Information On Federal Elevator

November 9th, 2011

Posted in Elevators - 1900-1930

Need Information On Federal Elevator

Thanks Matt, for sending these cool photographs in. If anyone has information regarding Federal Elevator they would like to share with Matt, please share it in the comments section. I did some digging in my old archives dating back to 1906 and can’t seem to find any reference to a company that manufactured this type of lift by the name of Federal Elevator.
My names Matt and I have a couple questions you may be able to help me with. My Great Grandfather built a two story brick building for a early Ford dealership in 1917 and had a First floor to Second floor Federal Elevator Co. elevator for $440.00 originally installed in Collinsville, IL near Saint Louis. It hasn’t ran in many years and does not have the current motor/electric to do so. I was wondering what you could tell me about the company itself and any company’s that do restoration and repair/maintenance on them to possibly getting it functional again.
Sincerely,
Matt

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Peelle Escalators Discovered Encapsulated at Starr Building, TX

November 9th, 2011

Posted in Elevators - 1951-1970

Peelle Escalators Discovered Encapsulated at Starr Building, TX

This has to be one of the coolest articles I’ve read in a while. While we often hear about elevator shaft ways being walled in only to be discovered years and decades later in old buildings and residential properties it’s not every day you read about a pair of escalators being discovered.  The actual article was written by a representative from Peelle. For more information visit www.peelledoor.com but remember that they no longer make escalators as the article below points out.

For Immediate Release

Recently a pair of Peelle Escalators were discovered after being hidden by flower boxes for almost 40-years. Originally installed in 1955, the five story, 76,375 square foot building housed the American National Bank; it was the first major example of modernist architecture in Austin, TX, it included a full walled modern art mural and possibly Austin’s first escalators.

In 1971 the building was later purchased by the State of Texas for the Controller’s office. In an effort to demonstrate fiscal responsibility they suspended use of the Peelle escalators to conserve energy. The state enclosed in the escalators and built flower boxes on both levels. In a developer recently purchased the building for multi-use and renamed it The Starr Building.

During remodeling the Peelle escalators installed some 40 years earlier, long since forgotten, were discovered when the contractor removed flower boxes. They powered the Peelle escalators and they operated; the owner has contracted an elevator maintenance company so a proper evaluation and modernization can be made.

Although Peelle no longer manufactures escalators the story is a testament to the quality Peelle places on all of its product lines. For more information contact Mike Ryan @ mryan@peelledoor.com.

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Brick & Mortar Elevator Museum Opens 6-29-2011

June 22nd, 2011

Posted in Articles, Elevators - 1900-1930, Elevators - 1931-1950, Elevators - 1951-1970, Elevators - 1971-1990, Elevators - 1991-2010, Elevators - Pre 1900's

Brick & Mortar Elevator Museum Opens 6-29-2011

This month the Elevator History Museum (elevatorhistory.org) will be opening in Long Island City, New York. Founder and Curator of the museum, Patrick Carrajat, is asking for our assistance in helping preserve the history of our trade by donating any old artifacts that could be displayed at the museum. He says he already has a good collection of antique elevator components from the east coast but his west coast catalogs lacks some. If anyone has anything they would like to display at this museum please contact Patrick directly at 917.748.2328.

For more information please click the two .pdf documents below.

# MUSEUM OPENING INVITATION

MUSEUM ANNOUNCEMENT

1 Comment

Old Elevator Button or Something Else???

June 22nd, 2011

Posted in Elevators - 1900-1930

Old Elevator Button or Something Else???

Need help with this one. Looks like it might have been some type of button but was it used on an elevator and if so what was the K marking on it for? Also after a search on this building which was built in 1915 this type of button most likely wouldn’t have been used for a push button. There would have been a car switch operation or attendant around this time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamm_Building

From Cindy:

We were told this was an elevator control switch. Grandfather worked at the Hamms Building in St. Paul Mn, so we were thinking it might have come from there.  Odd looking thing and great conversation piece!  Any info would be appreciated.  Thank You.

Okay elevator historians, share your ideas in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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Are These Elevator Button Plates?

June 21st, 2011

Posted in Elevators - 1900-1930

Are These Elevator Button Plates?

We received this e-mail today. If anyone has more information on this building or these plates please share it in the comments section below. Thanks!

Original E-mail: 

Hello:  Maybe you can help me.  I have purchased 4 of what I think are elevator call button face plates.  I found these at the estate sale for the old president of the State National Bank in Corsicana Tx.  The lobby was remodeled about 20 years ago and I think he may have wanted to keep these as mementos.   I say they are elevator plates, but they may have been for wall lights, door knobs.  They spared no expense when the bank was built in the 1920’s.  I am sure these are that old.  I would really like to know if these did come from the elevator.  I would really appreciate it if you have the time and can reply.  I have included a picture of our old bank also.
Thank You, Anita

Response from Elevator Preservation:

Hi Anita! Nice to hear from you! The plates you have are exceptional and the history you have on where they came from is even more unique. Unfortunately they are not elevator call button plates and are most likely door escutcheon plates.

Push buttons, and the holes they protruded from would have had smaller holes that they would have stuck through. Closer to 5/8″ or 3/4″, which was the standard of that time period.  Another item that is noticeable is that there are no mounting holes in the plate, top and bottom, that screws would hold the plate to the electrical box. Also there are four holes around the hole that would indicate another trim ring would be mounted on top and then a door knob on top of that.

Thank you so much for contacting us. Keep the history with the pieces along with the photographs. That in itself makes the plates more valuable!
Tom Sybert
ElevatorPreservation.com

6/21/2011 – Jon was nice enough to share the following pictures from the machine room. How cool! Thanks Jon!

Jon

3 Comments

Titche-Goettinger Building Elevator Rediscovered

May 16th, 2011

Posted in Articles, Elevators - 1900-1930

Titche-Goettinger Building Elevator Rediscovered

I’m doing some research on an Otis elevator installed in 1929 for the Titche-Goettinger department store in Dallas, Texas. The elevator features a manual control system and folding bench. During a 1950s renovation the interior of the cab was redecorated and the ceiling lowered with the addition of a fan (the original moulding can be seen above the later ceiling. The walls are currently a green vinyl. Originally there were 8 elevators; 4 were removed when escalators were added in the 1950s and only 2 remain in operation today (the building now houses apartments and a university). In the mid-90s elevator #1 was raised from the basement and welded into place but was never renovated due to lack of funds. It remained sealed and forgotten until now.

In celebration of the building’s history volunteers would like to clean it up to a “displayable” condition. We’re looking for any information about reproduction parts (a stool), cleaning suggestions and knowledge about the functionality of the different controls/switches. I’ve included some recent photos and a Dallas Morning News article from November 1930.

 The department store closed in the late 80s and was converted to loft apartments in 1997 (some history of the building: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titche-Goettinger_Building). The development team at the time raised the No. 1 elevator up from the basement and welded it into place to use as a phone booth, but funds ran out and they simply closed it up to keep it secure.

The building was listed to the National Register of Historic Places and is getting a plaque to celebrate the occasion. It will include hosting a community history day and open house in June to tour some of the old areas in the building (and hopefully some of the old store employees will attend). The old elevator was recently “rediscovered” by new staff and the residents (of which I am one) have volunteered to clean it up for the event. Initially it just needs a good scrubbing for the event, but we could use that opportunity to raise donations for a more thorough cosmetic restoration. I along with many other residents have never seen a manually controlled elevator like this, so it’s very interesting. Old articles report a team of 13 women who operated them up until the store’s closing.

It’s obvious the elevator has been modified over time. When a major store expansion occurred in the 1950s the interior of the elevator was “modernized”. There’s no telling if there is anything original left under the green vinyl panels, but the 1950s style is still interesting. There’s currently no power or lights inside the cab. The elevator penthouse still has all of the original machinery, and even contains a big board with all of the original tools in place. The 2 remaining elevators were completely modernized in 1997.

Need assistance in refurbishing elevator equipment. If you can assist please comment in space below.

4 Comments

Forget Ebay When Buying or Selling Your Elevator Parts!

May 2nd, 2011

Posted in Articles

Forget Ebay When Buying or Selling Your Elevator Parts!

Forget Ebay, it’s become an over glorified place for power sellers to list anything and everything! Go ahead, do a key word search for “elevator”. You’ll find more elevator shoes, dental instruments and yes, some type of gynecological tool that should not be shown let alone sold online.

If you are looking to purchase an old elevator or old elevator equipment there’s a place for you. If you’re looking to sell old elevator equipment, there’s a place for you. The best part is that it’s free! Yes, 100% free. Go ahead; post an online auction item, a classified ad, a barter/trade item! Have fun with it and use it till your heart’s content!

Visit www.elevatorgear.com and become a member today!

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Can You Identify This Old Part?

March 29th, 2011

Posted in Elevators - 1900-1930

Can You Identify This Old Part?

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 www.cjanderson.com . 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:
_______________________________________
THE CUTLER-HAMMER MFG. CO.
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.

Sincerely,
Kim W.

8 Comments

Elevator Museums

March 21st, 2011. Posted in Articles

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. http://www.theelevatormuseum.org/ 

 

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

1 Comment

Otis Employee 184…Who Are You?

March 21st, 2011. Posted in Elevators - 1931-1950

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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