This past week has been quite full - lots of grading to do here at midterm time. Plus today's blog post has taken me quite a while to put together, so that has delayed my posting it.
I recently saw a pretty neat website about elevators. I had thought about sharing the URL with y'all, but there were several problems with it. First of all, I did not at all care for the language used on the site and wouldn't want to send people there for that reason. The second problem was that all of the images load from other sites.
The post I did a while back about bridges is one of the most viewed posts on my blog, and it received a large number of comments. People seem to have love/hate relationships with bridges and with elevators. Today's instant vacation took me a l-o-n-g time to prepare, which is not my usual M.O. But I enjoyed doing the searching and researching. I did not include anywhere near all the unique elevators (lifts) in the world. As with the post on bridges, if you have a favorite elevator you'd like to share, just click on the comments link at the end of this post on the blog itself and comment away!
I hope you will find today's post uplifting.
The Paternoster lift was first developed in 1884 by Londoner J. E. Hall. A Paternoster or cyclical elevator consists of a chain of open compartments (each usually designed for two persons) that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. When you reach your floor you 'simply' step off the lift while the elevator is still moving. Even if you miss your floor and get to the top of the chain, the cabin will stay vertical and lift you over the top where you will start to descend on the other side. You can then step off on the desired floor. Sales were slow at first, probably because the Paternoster did not stop for the passengers to enter or alight - alarming! There are actually a few still in operation today in Europe.
Below is a picture of one still in use in Berlin...
Below is a drawing of the concept...
You can also watch a YouTube video showing a Paternoster elevator in action by clicking here.
Gateway Arch elevator
One of the "must sees" of St. Louis, Missouri, is the Gateway Arch. The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis’ role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (part of the U.S. National Park Service system) is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s role in opening the West to the pioneers who helped shape its history. Visitors are first amazed at the height of the Arch. Below is a picture from the ground looking up at the Arch.
To go to the top of the Arch, passengers in groups of five enter an egg-shaped compartment containing five seats and a flat floor. Eight compartments are linked to form a train. These compartments individually retain an appropriate level by periodically rotating every 5 degrees, which allows them to maintain the correct orientation while the entire train follows curved tracks up one leg of the arch. The trip to the top of the Arch takes four minutes, and the trip back down takes three minutes. The car doors have narrow glass panes, allowing passengers to see the interior stairways and structure of the Arch during the trip. Below is a picture of one of the cabins.
My wife and I have been on the elevator in the Gateway Arch - it's not our fave!
The AquaDom in Berlin, Germany, is a 82 foot (25 meter) tall cylindrical acrylic glass aquarium with built-in transparent elevator. It is located at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Berlin-Mitte. The DomAquaree complex also contains a hotel, offices, a restaurant, and the aquarium Sea Life Center.
The AquaDom opened in December 2003. It cost about 12.8 million euros. The acrylic glass cylinder was constructed by the U.S. company Reynolds Polymer Technology. The outside cylinder was manufactured on-site from four pieces; the inside cylinder for the elevator was delivered in one piece. The Aquadom has a diameter of over 36 feet (11 meters) and is filled with about 237,750 gallons (900,000 liters) of seawater, containing about 2600 fish of over 50 species. The feeding of the fish and the cleaning of the fish tank is performed daily by divers.
Below is a picture from underneath.
You can watch a YouTube video from inside the elevator by clicking here.
If you're afraid of heights, you might want to stay away from the Bailong Elevator, a glass elevator built onto the side of a huge cliff in the Zhangjiajie National Park in China. The stomach-dropping ride takes you 1,070 feet high! The future of this elevator isn't certain - apparently it's bad for the cliffs to have a gigantic elevator stuck on the side of them. If you feel like experiencing this one, you'd better do it now while you still have the chance, since it might be dismantled in the near future.
Below are several pictures of the elevator...
You can watch a YouTube video from inside the elevator by clicking here.
The Hammetschwand Lift, the highest exterior elevator in Europe, is located in Switzerland. It connects a spectacular rock path with the lookout point Hammetschwand on the Buergenstock plateau overlooking Lake Lucerne.
At the time of its construction between 1903 and 1905, it had a speed of three feet (about one meter) per second, and the ride up took nearly three minutes. Its cab consisted of wood fitted with a zinc sheet and could carry 8 passengers. The elevator has been upgraded several times with lighter materials and better engines, resulting in faster travel. The elevator entrance, the engine room and the first 46 feet (14 meters) of this ascent are completely the inside the mountain, while the remaining voyage allows a view of surrounding area. At the top station of Hammetschwand about 3,700 feet (1132 meters) above sea level, one has a breath-taking outlook on the Lake Lucerne and the Alps.
The most recent lift was built and opened by the Schindler Group. It whisks passengers up to the summit of the Hammetschwand in less than one minute which was regarded as a pioneering feat in those days and is probably nothing to sneeze at now!
Below is a picture of the Hammetschwand elevator...
Here's a collage of several pictures of the area...
Taipei 101 elevator
Taipei 101 has been the world's tallest building since 2004.
Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp announced the installation of the world's fastest passenger elevator just exactly where it is needed - in Taipei 101, the world's tallest building. The elevator runs at a top speed of 1,010 meters (3,333 feet) per minute when ascending and 600 meters (1968 feet) per minute on the way down. It can go from the fifth floor to the 89th floor in 39 seconds! And it's official - Guiness has certified it for the 2006 edition.
The world's fastest elevator offers the following new technologies:
- The world's first pressure control system, which adjusts the atmospheric pressure inside a car by using suction and discharge blowers, preventing those riding inside the car experiencing 'ear popping'
- An active control system which cancels vibrations by moving the counter mass in the opposite direction based on the vibration data from a sensor installed in the car
- Optimization in the configuration of the streamlined car to reduce the whistling noise produced by a car running at a high speed inside a narrow hoist-way. This is based on pressure analysis of the atmosphere in the hoistway and on the car surface during operation
Below is a picture of the statistics panel inside the elevator...
You can watch a YouTube video of the stats panel during the ascent of this elevator by clicking here.
I don't know if I'd like this elevator - maybe I'm just not a Taipei personality...?
CN Tower elevator
The CN Tower, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a communications and tourist tower standing 1,815 feet (553.33 meters) tall. It remains the signature icon of Toronto, attracting more than two million international visitors annually. CN originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower, following the railway's decision to divest non-core freight railway assets, prior to the company's privatization in 1995. Since local residents wished to retain the name CN Tower, the abbreviation is now said to expand to Canada's National Tower rather than the original Canadian National Tower; however, neither of these are commonly used.
Below are two pictures of the tower, one by day and one by night...
Below is a picture of someone standing on and looking down through the glass floor...
Sky Tower elevator
The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the central business district of Auckland, New Zealand. It is 1,076 feet (328 meters) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The upper portion of the tower contains two restaurant levels (one with revolving seating) and one cafe level, as well as two observation decks (including some with sections of glass floor). Climbs into the antennae portion are also possible for tour groups.
Below is a picture of someone standing on and looking down through a section of the glass floor.
The elevator itself has a glass floor...
You can watch a YouTube video of the descent of the elevator as seen through its glass floor panels by clicking here.
The tower also features the SkyJump, a 630-feet (192-meter) 'fan descender' jump (an experience between a bungy jump and a base jump) from the observation deck, during which a jumper can reach up to 53 mph (85 km/h). The jump is guide-cable-controlled to prevent jumpers from colliding with the tower in case of gusts.
You can watch a YouTube video of someone doing the jump by clicking here.
Is this really an elevator?
Normally we take an elevator to get to where we want to go. But this elevator seems to take that concept to its extreme!
"We can shorten our lives, but we cannot lengthen them." - Rob Loach
Why are they called buildings, when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?
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