Paternoster elevators

Well. These seem awesome! From the Guardian: Lovin’ their elevator: why Germans are loopy about their revolving lifts.

As the paternoster cabin in which he was slowly descending into the bowels of Stuttgart’s town hall plunged into darkness, Dejan Tuco giggled infectiously. He pointed out the oily cogs of its internal workings that were just about visible as it shuddered to the left, and gripped his stomach when it rose again with a gentle jolt. “We’re not supposed to do the full circuit,” he said. “But that’s the best way to feel like you’re on a ferris wheel or a gondola.”

The 12-year-old German-Serb schoolboy was on a roll, spending several hours one day last week riding the open elevator shaft known as a paternoster, a 19th-century invention that has just been given a stay of execution after campaigners persuaded Germany’s government to reverse a decision to ban its public use.

That the doorless lift, which consists of two shafts side by side within which a chain of open cabins descend and ascend continuously on a belt, has narrowly escaped becoming a victim of safety regulations, has everything to do with a deeply felt German affection for what many consider an old-fashioned yet efficient form of transport. [continue]

One thought on “Paternoster elevators

  1. I haven’t heard of these before but am intrigued. Unfortunately there don’t appear to be any in Australia so I might have to wait a little while before I have a chance to see one in operation. I, for one, appreciate the lack of paternalism in these elevators; it seems the original engineers clearly had more faith in us than contemporary elevator designers!

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