Type “S” Westinghouse Electric Stairway Template

EW Correspondent Dr. Lee Gray sent us the following post in relation to his interesting article “The Westinghouse Electric Stairway,” coming in our December issue of ELEVATOR WORLD as part of its Focus on Escalators and Moving Walks. He’s also busy this week covering the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 10th World Conference in Chicago for us. . . . Editor

Today, most vertical transportation manufacturers and suppliers provide architects and engineers with an array of electronic tools and downloadable datasets that facilitate the integration of these systems into technical drawings. These various digital resources are also often clearly branded and designed to guide users to select a given company’s products. However, in the not-so-distant past, all architectural and engineering drawings were produced by hand.

The manual production of drawings often presented challenges when it came to the accurate representation of specialized equipment, such as escalators. One solution to this problem was the use of templates such as the one developed by Westinghouse for its Type “S” Electric Stairway. The template, at 1/4-in. scale, assumed a 12-ft distance between finished floor heights. The draftsman would simply locate the stairway’s starting and stopping points (labeled as “working points”), then trace the outline of the template to have an accurate idea of the stairway’s sectional space requirements. And, as the template was clearly branded as having been produced by the “Elevator Division of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation,” it was intended to guide the architect’s selection. A simple tool for a (slightly) simpler time.

Where’s the Cow Hide Hiding?

A leather-walled elevator in the Bentley Hotel in Manhattan’s Upper East Side

I came across the above elevator interior When in NYC for the International Association of Elevator Consultants New York Region 26th Annual Fundraiser for the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (look for my story on it in the November issue). You don’t see many like it — walled in (probably synthetic) leather and rivets — and I wondered why. The material gave the cab sophistication despite its age and openness despite its color.

Sadly, you don’t see a lot of leather elevator interiors, even as Google Images search results. One, however, is the below pic from the Luxury in Design blog. This one shows a quilted design that highlights the versatility of the material. So, why isn’t it used much in elevators? It obviously wouldn’t be cheap, but there are plenty of applications for which money’s not much of an object.

A cab in the Soho Beach House in Miami Beach

Better Late Than Never

It’s hard for me to believe, but we haven’t talked about Elevator Schmelevator here yet. This fun blog from Phoenix Modular Elevator in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, is, as the owners say, focused on educating people who utilize elevator maintenance and repair services. It’s been using its unique voice (made from a mix of a state-level view with a broader one) since January 2015!

One of the many elevator selfies on the long-running Tumblr Ashensori Ka Trafik

The site’s latest post caught our eye when it linked to one of ours. It brought the Tumblr Ashensori Ka Trafik (according to Google, Albanian for “Elevator Has Traffic”) to our attention. Just one example of selfie-takers taking advantage of nice mirrors in elevators to document their lives, outfits and more, it opens up several questions Elevator Schmelevator touches on. These include “Are we all that self-absorbed?” and, to paraphrase, “Are some big, fancy mirrors hiding a serious problem in or lack of maintenance of the elevator?” The blog gives some great suggestions for helping building owners and passengers cope with slow elevators and, most importantly, do the right thing and put safety first.