Frank J. Sprague

Frank J. Sprague

by Evelyn JutteFrank_j._sprague

July 25th marks the 159th birthday of Frank J. Sprague. Here is an overview of his life and work. 

Hailed during his lifetime as the “Father of Electric Traction” by leaders in the fields of science, engineering and industry, Frank Julian Sprague’s achievements in horizontal transportation were paralleled by equally remarkable achievements in vertical transportation. During a six-decade career, Sprague distinguished himself as an inventor for his accomplishments in the development of the electric railway, early electric elevators, and the commercial electric motor. Sprague was born in Milford, Connecticut in 1857. He attended Drury High School and excelled in mathematics. Sprague won the appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, and with US$400 in borrowed cash, set out for Annapolis, Maryland, in 1874.

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Elevator U and BOMA 2016

This past June, I had the opportunity to attend both the Elevator U (EU) conference in Quincy, Illinois and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) conference in National Harbor, Maryland. Both trips proved to be successful as I was able to meet many new professionals and learn a great deal about our growing industry. Below are a few photos from each trip. You can read the full event coverage for both EU and BOMA 2016 in the September issue of ELEVATOR WORLD.

Elevator U 2016

The main event at EU this year was a tour of the Hollister-Whitney factory.

Hollister-Whitney owner Frank Musholt was kind enough to host all attendees at his home.

BOMA 2016

BOMA 2016 took place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. Elevator World, Inc. was able to partner with SnapCab.

The Speed Demons

Collection 10 in our Hall of Humor

by William C. Sturgeon


Graphic satirists portrayed the elevator operator as a “speed demon” driving his cabin through the hoistway without concern for passengers. Cartoons of the era depicting passengers being levitated or otherwise discommoded by “cowboys” pushing acceleration, speed and deceleration to the limits. Among the amused were industry insiders who knew over-speed devices limited the car speed. Whether with attendant or operatorless, the car controls could only start and stop motion! Continue reading