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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Andre-Marie Ampere

January 20 is Andre-Marie Ampere’s 241st birthday. Here is a short biography of his life and the work he was involved in from the Elevator Museum.

2016.01.20 AndreDespite not attending school, Andre-Marie Ampere was to be given an excellent education. It has been claimed that Ampere had mastered all known mathematics by the age of twelve years but this seems somewhat of an exaggeration since, by Ampere’s own account, he did not start to read elementary mathematics books until he was 13 years old.
In 1797 Ampere earned a living tutoring mathematics until 1802 when he was appointed professor of physics and chemistry at Bourg Ecole Centrale. He was appointed professor of mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1809, where he held posts until 1828. Ampere was appointed to chair at Universite de France in 1826 which he held until his death. Although a mathematics professor, his interests included, in addition to mathematics, metaphysics, physics and chemistry. Ampere was also making significant contributions to chemistry.
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New York City’s Newest Museum Opens In An Elevator

Elevator World has its own Elevator Museum, and here’s another — but it’s very different! This museum is inside an old lower Manhattan, New York, freight elevator and promotes “respect for the everyday, and displays the often overlooked beauty of real life. There is always beauty and magic in the plebian (sic).” As the Tribeca Citizen reports, visitors can view “everyday objects from around the world, each of which has a story attached.”