A Visit to the Elevator Museum in Massachusetts

Text and Photos by Caleb Givens

The International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 4 Union Hall is tucked behind a few industrial facilities in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Housed in this building, in a large, open conference room, is the Elevator Museum. It is the shining physical presence of the Elevator Historical Society’s efforts to preserve the history of the elevator and escalator industry.

Your author visited Steve Comley, who is truly taking the museum from good to great. Comley is a longtime elevator man, getting his taste of the industry at an early age, thanks to his father, James, who purchased Embree and White Elevator in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1972. “I loved the dirty old elevator machine shop,” recalls Comley. “It was fascinating to me as a kid — the noise from the flat-belt pulleys running across the ceiling, the smell of the cutting oils on the machines and the smoke from the welding. They used to cast and completely build elevator machines there.”

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KONE Launches Test of World’s First Tweeting Escalator

At an undisclosed location in London, a KONE escalator now is tweeting the details of its working day and conditions. “Escalators are the unsung heroes of cities. They move millions of people a day and, of course, they need to perform safely and smoothly,” said Max Alfthan, executive vice president, marketing and communications at KONE.

Social media is a powerful tool that serves many in different ways. It can empower the powerless; it can spread information at a “viral” pace; and, as everyone should know by now, affords public officials the opportunity to get their messages out directly to their constituents (for better or worse) without the filter of the professional news media. It in essence gives a voice to the voiceless. To that end, KONE has developed a social media presence for its vertical-transportation (VT) equipment. Specifically, The Dispatch-Argus reports, the VT giant has given one of its escalators a Twitter account, all part of its 24/7 Connected Services. The escalator — “At an undisclosed location in London,” the source notes — offers real-time updates of its performance through the handle @JustAnEscalator. A virtual reality and 360-degree video enhance the program. Are you wondering what an escalator has to tweet about? The recent screen grab at right gives a sample, plus, maybe, an idea of the technology’s potential. Like, say, alerting commuters when specific escalators are out of service or back in operation. That might be worth a tweet.

Meet Walton Press

Just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, lies the small town of Monroe, which has been the home of Walton Press since 1900. Walton Press now serves as the printer for ELEVATOR WORLD magazine. On February 15 and 16, Elevator World’s Vice President of Production, Lillie McWilliams, along with myself, had the privilege of visiting the press to see their process. The timing worked out great, too, as we were actually able to see our magazine going through the printing process!

The level of pride everyone at Walton Press puts into their work results in a quality magazine, not only for us, but for you — our readers.

We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to everyone we met at Walton Press for being such wonderful hosts.

Check out some of these photos from our visit!

Here, one of several signatures that make up a copy of ELEVATOR WORLD magazine, is being run through the giant heat press and folding machine

 

And the final result is good!

 

Another impressive piece of machinery at Walton Press

 

 

 

Got ink? Walton Press has a lot of it!

 

 

Some of the Walton Press team with myself and EW VP of Production, Lillie McWilliams