Final Stop

This elevator now rests permanently in the basement. It was raised and lowered by
filling or draining a large hydraulic cylinder. Since it went to the fourth floor,
the cylinder shaft below it had to be five stories deep.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such elevators were once commonplace, and there are thousands (at least!) still in service across the USA.

The steel column is typically hollow so that the hydraulic fluid can be pumped/gated in and out of the column itself, rather than requiring a separate storage tank.

In Philadelphia, PA., building maintenance staff are constantly "topping up" the hydraulics in this type of elevator, because there is no way to repair leaks in the (drilled) lower shaft, and at this point they pretty much all leak. Consequently, the water table in the area is increasing contaminated with petroleum fractions, and hydraulic oil has been picked up in wells on the Jersey side of the mighty Delaware river, after having migrated through the aquifer a quarter mile or more under the riverbed itself!!

9:30 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

This really interesting. I believe I have some photos of the hydraulics for the smaller elevator, which were installed above ground. I'll try to dig them up, or failing that, take some new ones.

8:59 PM  

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