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Self-contained steam-powered elevator

Going up ....
  [vote for,

Many older buildings benefit from the installation of an elevator system.

Often, the only way of doing this is to build an enclosed shaft on the side of the building.

However, the BorgCo Steam Elevator offers a magnificently retro method for achieving the same function in an appropriate and tasteful way.

The elevator "shaft" is constructed from cast-iron pillars positioned beside the building, and braced to the building and one another by large cast-iron frames. On the inside of the shaft are vertically-mounted sections of conventional railway track, and two sets of offset-tooth racks for rack-and-pinion cogs to engage in.

The elevator car is made of cast iron framing, and about 150% bigger than a normal elevator, to give space for the steam boiler, -reciprocating-piston engine, water tank, coal and of course the driver/stoker.

The car is paneled with rosewood veneer, and all interior fittings are polished brass. Seats upholstered in green leather are set on varnished mahogany plinths. Paraffin lamps are provided for illumination during the hours of darkness. Steam-heated radiators are provided to keep the cabin comfortable when the weather is cold.

Passengers communicate with the driver via a speaking tube.

Would-be passengers communicate with the driver by a system of mechanical semaphores actuated by rods and wires running in brackets along one of the supporting pillars.

Large blocks of cast iron serve as counterweights, and are suspended from cables which run over pulleys mounted at the top of the frame. Two of the counterweights are in fact hollow tanks, to which water can be added or removed as required to correctly balance the system.

A number of whistles are provided to allow the driver to signal to potential passengers, or just to amuse himself.

The engine is surmounted by an excessively large polished-brass centrifugal governor.

In an emergency, the whole contraption can be wound up and down by hand.

The elevator is slow, noisy, very energy-inefficient, requires frequent maintenance, a trained operator, and smells strongly of steam, coal dust, hot oil and wax furniture polish.

8th of 7, Sep 24 2011

Well it's certainly elevated... http://www.lsdimens...erial-steam-walker/
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 26 2011]

Elevators http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator
Who knew there was so much to learn about them! [DrBob, Sep 27 2011]


       For an hegemonizing swarm, you've gone very retro lately.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 24 2011

       It's a new sub-hegemony, the Steam-Borg.   

       [+] for clever style.
Alterother, Sep 24 2011

       Magnificently, steam-scentedly retro [+].
swimswim, Sep 24 2011

       Oh all right, [+]. But it doesn't suit you.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 24 2011


Voice, Sep 24 2011

       I can practicaly see the etching. Question is, is the driver standing, or is he/she 'sitting' in a chair on its back.
FlyingToaster, Sep 26 2011

       I suggest the driver should appear to be precariously poised on an overhanging seat above the lift (elevator) doors, affording him/her a commanding view over the passengers as well as the machine. A set of long-handled fire irons would allow stoking of the boiler from this position.   

       I trust the driver will have a suitable uniform, complete with a protective leather hat and brass framed goggles.   

       Since the lift is on the outside of the building, a small copper clad roof should be provided to shelter the driver from the elements.   

       "The elevator is slow, noisy, very energy-inefficient, requires frequent maintenance, a trained operator, and smells strongly of steam, coal dust, hot oil and wax furniture polish."   

       Bun for this alone.
Twizz, Sep 26 2011

       The driver will indeed have a suitable uniform; the trousers will have knife-edge creases, and the polished leather cap (to match the knee-length polished black leather boots) will have a brass badge. The uniform tail-coat will have brass buttons, gold-braid epaulettes, and frogging. The brocade waistcoat will be similarly embelished, and the driver provided with a large silver pocket-watch and chain to ensure the elevator runs to time. Depending on the weather, various black leather gloves, lined or unlined, will be provided, kept in a small brass-bound polished mahogany cabinet adjacent to the driver's chair.   

       When the weather is inclement, a Harris tweed Ulster cape will be available.   

       Opinion is divided as to whether the copper roof should be burnished twice daily, or allowed to age to a classic green patina.   

       For larger installations, or taller buildings, the driver will be supplemented by a stoker, and a boy to oil the engine. While the stoker too will have a uniform (although rather less splendid then the driver), the boy will be nothing more than a typical street urchin* in ragged hand-me-down clothes and a cloth cap; this individual will, of course, be kept out of sight of the passengers at all times.   

       *Not to be confused with the sea urchin; the difference is that, if well cooked, sea urchins are quite palatable.
8th of 7, Sep 26 2011

       // a suitable uniform; the trousers will have knife- edge creases, and the polished leather cap (to match the knee-length polished black leather boots) will have a brass badge. The uniform tail-coat will have....//   

       I think [8th] has just achieved borgasm.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 26 2011

       [+] oh for the beautifulness of this!!
xandram, Sep 26 2011

       We seem to have neglected to mention that the floor number will be indicated by a mercury barometer, carefully compensated for current atmospheric pressure by an aneroid and linkage.   

       // seat above the ... doors, affording ... commanding view over the passengers //   

       No, no. It would not do for the driver to be permitted to look down on his betters. Nor can he be placed too low, for then he might accidentally catch a glimpse of a ladies ankle (horror, shock). No, the driving position is off to one side, and a step down from the passenger compartment, a nice piece of social symbolism. There will be a small wicket gate; whether this is to keep the passengers out, or the driver in, depends which side of the gate you are standing ...   

       // you've gone very retro lately. //   

       Yes ... we should never have Assimilated that flock of Steam Railway enthusiasts, now there's Victoriana leaking out everywhere ...   

       We are now starting to wonder if it will be necessary to further to partition the elevator cabin into First Class, Third Class, and Steerage.
8th of 7, Sep 26 2011

       Surely the third-class passengers would simply sit on the roof, and perhaps hop off from time to time to sell tiffin to those in first?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 26 2011

       That seems entirely reasonable.   

       Although we are open to the option of parallel tracks, one of which carries the First Class elevator, and the other which accomodates the boot-black, char-wallah, waiter, water- closet attendant and the little man who comes twice a week to wind the clocks and clean the billiard room. This elevator would be powered by steerage passengers situated below the floor, on stationary bicycles. A burly overseer with a drum and whip would ensure that the correct speed is maintained.
8th of 7, Sep 26 2011

       Burly overseers are so passé.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 26 2011

       The driver must have a naval full-set
TolpuddleSartre, Sep 26 2011

       ...shall I wear my petticoats?
xandram, Sep 26 2011

       If you're going to create a large head of compressed steam, why not just use it to lift the elevator directly and lower with an accumulation tank and some relief valves?
RayfordSteele, Sep 26 2011

       Because it's a small volume of steam at a modest pressure, from a small boiler.
8th of 7, Sep 26 2011

       //a small volume of steam at a modest pressure, from a small boiler.//   

       Who are you, and what have you done with the Borg?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 26 2011

       Suggestions such as using an android phone to calibrate a perfectly good barometer and more effecient ways to move the lift car have no place here.   

       8th has fully embraced (or assimilated) the steampunk genre and that is to be applauded.   

       I look forward to a range of brass banded, rosewood panelled ideas, even if some of them are likely to be feline unsympathetic.
Twizz, Sep 27 2011

       A steampunk borg would be an interesting creature.
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2011

       If by that you mean 'easy target', then yes, it would.
Alterother, Sep 27 2011

       Oh great, another blasted Ivor the Engine fan ... thanks, we have enough of those already ...   

       <Makes note to under no circumstances assimilate [bigsleep]>   

       // A steampunk borg would be an interesting creature //   

       "Interesting" ? Well, let's say that replacing the head-mounted laser with a carbide-fuelled acetylene lamp was among the less problematic modifications ...   

       // 'easy target' //   

       All things are relative - perhaps you should phrase that as "Ever so slightly less highly dangerous and nearly indestructible heavily armed and armoured target."
8th of 7, Sep 28 2011

       There's a capital "B" in "Borg", you know ...
8th of 7, Sep 28 2011

8th of 7, Sep 28 2011

       //pschticuffs// [+]
calum, Sep 28 2011


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