Lift Education at the beginning of the XX century

By the beginning of the XX century a well organized system of distance education made it possible for men and women to obtain new skills or improve their skills (in the form of continuous training) in different areas related professions and professional disciplines.

This unique system of education, when students receive training materials by mail, studied them, and then filled the examination forms and sent back to school for testing and evaluation in the United States gave rise to the first comprehensive training course in the field of elevator-building. In the first part of this article discussed on the training program developed by the American school of distance education. The second part of the article is devoted to the training program developed by the main competitor of the school — International School of Distance Learning (ICS).

International School of Distance Learning was founded in the early 90-ies of the XIX century as a correspondence school, serving the coal mining industry. In 10 years of existence, the school offers its programs very substantially expanded and updated the charter states that it can provide:

«… Correspondence course by mail or any other means to those who want to study mathematics, physics, art, science, English and foreign languages, as well as other items necessary for technical, scientific, classical or academic education, and get diplomas or certificates attesting to their professional qualification after successful completion of mandatory courses. «

Repeating the organizational structure of the American school of distance learning, the school also had a separate ICS own publishing company — International Textbook Co., — which produced educational materials for all school courses. As in other correspondence schools, the main attention is paid to the development of training materials. According to William F. Gibbons, who quotes Frederick Hitchcock in the first volume of his «History of Scranton and its people», written in 1914:

«The first remarkable work of the school was to prepare the ICS series of unique books, whose structure is completely different from textbooks for students under the direct supervision of teachers. These books are easy to learn, their content lies well to remember, and it is convenient to use in practice. At the beginning of the activity of this school found that conventional textbooks used by students of schools and colleges do not meet the needs of those engaged in the house. Many students of the school received ICS in it without preparation. For distance learning the lesson of such people must be completely clear and so simple, that even the dullest student could all understand. To help students with books generously illustrated with drawings, diagrams and the like. » Although this description sounds not too correct in relation to the availability of educational materials, even for the «most stupid students», it gives a clear understanding of the target audience of the school ICS. In 1914, the school reported that the preparation of its books worth the time «more than 2 million US dollars» and that «year after year spent an average of 150 000 US dollars for the preparation of new and revised the old textbooks and articles.»

The volume of individual training articles was, on average, 50 pages. Articles were divided into two groups: «those that apply to the design, and those relating to the operation and maintenance». In promotional material for the ICS school in 1905 says:

«In many cases, the issues are more fully disclosed from the point of view from which they are written than any other textbook or treatise on the same subject. In this regard, we recommend you our training courses on subjects such as «Electric railways», «Internal wiring», «Elevators» and several courses in industrial practice. » Special mention of training materials on the elevators may reflect the knowledge came at a time works Dzhellingsa and the American school of distance learning. However, the comparison reveals a significant difference in the development of these competing training courses. While at school ICS I was to be a man playing the same role that Dzhellings, the name of the author is unknown. According to the school ICS, her books «written by the faculty of the school with the participation of the authors, constantly collaborating with this school.» Sometimes school is noted that:

«… The author’s manuscript prepared by experts from outside the staff of the school; Work performed under the contract. In all such cases, the resulting manuscript exposed to substantial revision and editing, and in some cases completely rewritten so that it fully meets the objectives of our training courses. «

A unique aspect of school teaching materials ICS — illustrations that accompany the text. While Dzhellings using photographs and drawings, taken mainly from commercial sources or technical publications, the school has implemented its training ICS articles own original designs. The process of creating these drawings described as follows:

«As an example of the thoroughness with which this work is done, I will draw your attention to our articles on the pneumatic brakes and textile production. For articles on pneumatic brakes we got a full-length cast from manufacturers and drawings made by direct measurements. In the case of articles of textile production, we sent a draftsman in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he spent several months sketching when photographing was irrational sophisticated equipment, we wanted to illustrate. We are ready for any costs, to our illustration is fully consistent with the text and make it more understandable to the student. » While the instructional materials school ICS small amount (126) of illustrations taken from other sources, the main part is made it is obviously as described above. Thus, the level of detail and accuracy of these illustrations is a rich historical archive Lift technology early XX century.

Somewhat surprising that school teaching materials Lift ICS is only available in the form of separate booklets for the course or included in books covering a wide range of subjects. In other words, the school ICS is not published a book entirely devoted to issues of Lift technology that could compete with the book Dzhellingsa «Elevators: A practical guide for the development and design of hand-held, belt, steam, hydraulic and electric lifts» (first edition: 1915, second Revision: 1918). In fact, if the school ICS released a book, it would have taken a prominent place in the history of the lift business, because its materials were published in 1902, 13 years before the appearance of the first book Dzhellingsa. However, this material was first published in a textbook entitled «Steam machinery and elevators»: «The first part of this book is devoted to the design, installation, maintenance and operation of steam engines, both simple and complex. Considers and explains the different types of machines with a very detailed description of indicators and indicator charts. Material on the steam engine is more than enough to fire or engineer could deliver conventional licensing exam. Pay special attention to the last section of this book, which contains a comprehensive description of the various types of elevators in operation at present. A complete description of the construction, maintenance and operation, and this work is considered the first attempt at a coherent presentation of the publication of issues related to this equipment, without which there can be no modern office buildings. «

While it is true that it was «the first attempt to publications connected» or full details of Lift technology issues, the inclusion of the material in the textbook devoted primarily steam technology, cramped elevators subject to the level of just another technical topics. This perception was strengthened edition of the second book, also appeared in 1902, entitled «Textbook of steam machinery, pumps, elevators and central heating.»

The names of these books are placed in the context of elevators steam technology, the future in some way introduced the reader astray, forcing to assume that they deal only with steam elevators (which continued to be issued at the beginning of the XX century). However, each book provides a complete material developed by the school ICS, in which a profound analysis of steam, hydraulic and electrical systems, elevator. This material is divided into four academic articles (numbers 37-40). In each article, each paragraph is numbered to make it convenient to find the key points when answering the questions. Four academic article prepared in accordance with clear themes and sub-themes:

«Elevators: Part One

♦ General description of lifts

♦ Hand lifts

♦ Belt lifts

♦ Steam lifts

Lifts: Part Two

♦ Electric lifts

♦ Electric lifts with indirect connection

♦ Electric lifts with a direct connection

♦ Examples of electric lifts

♦ Lifts operating on alternating current

♦ Electric elevators with magnetic control

♦ Automatic electric lifts

♦ Screw lift Sprague-Pratt

♦ Differential lift Fraser

Lifts: Part Three

♦ Hydraulic lifts

♦ Plunger lifts

♦ piston lifts

♦ Operation and maintenance of hydraulic lifts

Lifts: Part Four

♦ car safety

♦ Low speed catchers

♦ Accessory lift

♦ Safety system

♦ indicators and signals

♦ Escalators «

Sections and order of presentation seems pretty standard, but the introduction of the second academic article (for electric lift) contains an interesting solution to the Editor:

«If we consider the elevators in order of their development, with the steam lifts should go hydraulic elevators, electric elevators began as the last competitor in this field. However, since most electric elevators refers to the type of drum, and therefore, in many ways similar to a hand, belt and steam elevators, they are considered especially older type systems. «

These statements pose an electric lift in a very interesting place in the history of the lift business-although it is a new type of elevator, its typical form (drum machine) connects them directly with the old world of steam elevators that were driven hydraulic elevators in the 80-ies of the XIX century.

The structure of each training article follows the same basic format. For a general description of the type or the elevator system is a description of the engine, transmission (drums, buckets and the like), a counterweight system, control units and brakes. These descriptions are accompanied by voluminous drawings, plan views, front views, detailed drawings and schematic wiring diagrams. Unambiguous and well organized text and excellent diagrams and drawings allow the reader (or students) understand the fundamental principles of the structure and actions of the elevator. However, the reader learns more than the general principles — many threads are dedicated to operating real systems, issued by national and regional firms. The number of such firms were Elektron Manufacturing Co .; A.B. See Elevator Co .; Otis Elevator Co., Whittier Machine Co .; Morse, Williams & Co .; Crane Elevator Co .; Winslow Brothers Co .; Burdett-Rownt-ree Manufacturing Co. and Elevator Supply and Repair Co. In addition to information on specific elevators (for example, the number of mechanisms that are discussed in the article on the electric lift, includes an elevator Otis ‘with the magnetic controller GS (see. Fig. 3) and automatic electric elevator Otis’ controller floors number 2), educational materials contain detailed drawings of the elevator systems in the collection.

The fourth study paper concludes with a brief description of the subject, is absent in Dzhellingsa: escalator. This section, consisting of two small paragraphs, begins:

«In practical terms Elevator Therefore recently was called» escalator «, referring to the system, known as the moving stairs.

Such moving stairs essentially not be classified under the elevators, since they are based on quite different principles and are mentioned here only for completeness in the material and due to the fact that they are in many cases meant to replace lifts «. Although uncertain presentation reflects the author’s doubts about the correct use of the new term (escalator), the topic’s inclusion in the curriculum speaks of an attempt to attract the students’ attention to the current developments.

Somewhat surprising that after the initial publication in 1902, ICS school has never published a revised, augmented edition of his educational articles on the elevators. It took almost 30 years before it published its new training course on the elevators. In 1931 came the publication of four new educational articles on the elevators, designed for students of the school ICS. They were followed by another additional article in 1934. All these articles are devoted to electric elevators: «Electric traction elevator» (1931), «Equipment hatches in elevators» (1931), «Engines electric elevators» (1931), «Effects of electric elevators» (1931) and «Maintenance of electric lifts «(1934). The author of these articles — Haymens Frederick (1875-1959), a mechanical engineer who worked in Otis’ from 1902 to 1947. In 1934, the School of ICS has published these educational articles in two volumes titled «Electric lifts, a book I» and «Electric elevators, book II» (these books were the first facsimile edition of the important historical texts of the magazine «Elevator World», and can be found on-line store EW magazine online:

Author’s Note. When I conceived this two-part article, I intended to include the examination questions on programming, ICS and the American school school distance learning. The volume of the last article impede the implementation of this goal, but in the online museum exhibition lifts the magazine EW ( are the questions and answers on these programs. This museum allows visitors to test their knowledge on early Lift technology.

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