Thursday, September 24, 2009


The Paternoster. Wave of the future from the 19th Century. ...Saw one in a film once (set, in part, at a big U. S. Army or Allied command center in postwar Germany, I think it was supposed to be the I. G. Farben building). What izzit? This:

Yes, it's a continuous loop. But what happens if you go over the top? Funny you should ask.

H'mm, didn't expect that.

They're not idiot-proof and are therefore falling by the wayside as idiots get entangled and then sue. There aren't any here in the States, or at least none anyone is willing to admit to. This may indicate we have, at least, a superior grade of idiot.


Old Grouch said...

There used to be an employees-only one in a parking garage on North Illinois. (IIRC, the one that was torn down when One Indiana Square went up.)

Anonymous said...

What? We've been putting up with the more pedestrian elevator why, exactly? Never mind that you get a guided tour of the works at the top if you're inattentive (or wish to see them), they're dangerous! Or at least a little risky. I might just design a second story onto my house plan just for the sake of incorporating one of these.

Seriously, you've got the neatest toys.


Jeffro said...

I suppose the belt manlift would be a cousin to the paternoster. Most of the grain elevators around here have them.

I found myself wonderfully focused on the task at hand while riding.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Grouch, I remember seeing that when I was a kid. Thought it was too cool for school.

Dad wouldn't let me ride it, damn the luck.

Ritchie said...

Avoid foreign entanglements, yes, certainly. Say, how fast can that thing go?

mts1 said...

We can't even figure out how to negotiate a lousy traffic circle in the states, let alone be able to not get amputated by that. Remember all the warning stickers on an electric appliance nowadays, and imagine what they'd have on that.

But why the heck did they call it the "Our Father?"

Anonymous said...

Oooh! I can imagine all kinds of delicious scenes that could be included in the newest Holy Wood thriller, in which our Heroine has been deprived (thru clever Plot Device) of her usual steel and lead accessories, and is being chased thru a building using one of these machines. Crunch and Splat as she uses her arcane knowledge to escape certain Doom!


Roberta X said...

Why is it called an "our Father?" H'mm, not a rosary-using crowd, then? The cars go 'round and 'round like a string of beads. At least, that's what some sources say.

Then again, I would not be surprised if some of the earlier users didn't tend to mutter a quick prayer as they prepared to board or disembark, either.

Alan said...

The idiot tax keeps a lot of cool stuff off the market.

GeorgeH said...

I think the Belt Manlift was what they used to have in parking garages all over the country. They were a lot plainer and more dangerous than the paternoster.

Anonymous said...

Pretty fancy manlift. I used to see manlifts in the old parking garages in Chicago, where it was all valet parking, the car hikers used the lifts, not the public.
I used a manlift years ago when shooting pictures at a Wisconsin papermill, it just took three trips to carry the camera, tripod, lens case and film case up to the top of the acid tower.

Bruce, the:

Old Grouch said...

@Jeffro and @GeorgeH,

You're right, "belt manlift" what it was. Think they were sometimes called paternosters here, had forgotten the European version had cars.

(Which is what I get for posting without looking at the links, but what can you do if you can't do Flash?)

TW: hedrocco
What happens if you're using one of those in a mine, and you forget to get off at the top.

Justthisguy said...

That ain't nothin' compared to a Cornish man-engine. It had two side-by-side vertical beams with steps on them suspended in a mine, hung from a rocker up top. You would step from one to the other to go up or down.

Ride Fast said...

Yet another reason to go to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. They had a Belt Manlift" in the parking garage at the Silver Legacy.

Crucis said...

Would smart some if you tripped/slipped getting off or on and didn't get all your appendages clear.

I saw something similar in a feed mill. A simple moving chain with hand and foot pegs running through a large hole in the floor. It wasn't hinged so you didn't want to go over the top.

Anonymous said...

Rode one in post-war Germany in the
Amex building in Regensburg. For
those young and lithe, it was a trip.
However, not the thing for the
stroller-pushing crowd.
Anon, Don

Grey said...


That is the model of efficiency.

All buildings should have these. Elevators are infrequently loaded to capacity and the time spent loading, unloading, accelerating and decelerating to and from stops slows things down immensely.

The future lies with the past. Now, we just need to get rid of the idiots that impede real progress. The ones that we need to dumb-down good ideas for.