Dumbwaiter occupies a unique place in the history of vertical transport. When the average person thinks about the elevators, he, first of all, is a car designed for the transportation of people and freight and other things seem remote.
And a modest dumbwaiters tend to completely forget. And often do not perceive it as the real device or elevator, which is relevant to the world of vertical transport. Nevertheless, it is one of the oldest types of lift, in a sense, it is one of the first lifting systems, special purpose, arrived in mass production. This article will serve as an introduction to the history of modern dumbwaiters by exploring the history of one of the earliest and most famous American manufacturers dumbwaiters XIX century — James Mertafa from New York.
In 1898, the product and professional orientation Mertafa wrote:
«Handheld kitchen lifts, produced by James Mertafom, recognized standards of the highest quality not only in our country but throughout Europe. It can be called a modern Nestor in the field. From 1855, he delivers on the market for kitchen lifts, quality is so much higher than any other, it would be wrong to say that he has competition. «
Like many other statements of the XIX century, this statement requires some adaptation to the modern reader. For example, unusual sounds epithet «modern Nestor.» Nestor — the character of Greek mythology, the aged king of Pylos, who was a counselor of the Greek army that besieged Troy. Thanks to its vast experience, he was one of the leading politicians and all the recognized leaders. On the other hand, the reference to 1855 seems quite clear — it’s founding date Mertafa enterprise, which produces kitchen elevators. However, additional research indicates that it is the date of receipt of the patent, which was not issued to James, and Andrew Mertafu
Family ties between Andrew and James Mertafom remain a mystery; and any mention of Andrew disappear after 1860. We only know that Andrew has received two patents, which formed the basis of the enterprise. In fact, the patent Andrew in 1855 was one of the first patents for kitchen lifts, issued in the United States: «The scheme of arrangement of pulleys for dumbwaiters» Patent № 12,640 on April 3, 1855. The essence of the invention is described as follows:
«My improvement relates to the description of the dumbwaiter, which is suspended by a cord, and cargo and moves up and down sharply hand servant. It is designed to lift and lower trays for the perfect control of the minister, and provides ease and convenience of the service, and also to prevent unpleasant consequences, often experience the sudden jerk, happens when the tray is raised or lowered with excessive force hand servant. «
To avoid «unpleasant consequences» associated with the operation of the kitchen lift, Andrew Mertaf suggested using separate upper and lower ropes, both of them are attached to the counterweight. The bottom rope is also attached to the shaft by means of which if necessary could pull it. Dumbwaiter was set in motion by a handle attached to a large ratchet wheel, which is also used to hold the cab in place during loading and unloading. To ensure smooth motion, Andrew Mertaf suggested using «friction rollers’ moving in a semicircular guide.
In its second patent «dumbwaiter» Patent № 30,831 on December 4, 1860, Andrew Mertaf gave three schematic drawings depicting his usual dumbwaiter 1855, lift the usual type, «which has been known for a long time,» and his new The invention, which effectively combines the best features of both systems. The new design of the counterweight mounted at the top dumbwaiter that was more normative goal. Although the figure shows the system and other goods that can be added to the main counterweight, Pat Andrew Mertafa nothing is said about this feature. The hoisting ropes is fixed at the top of the mine, going down under the two small pulleys located on the roof of the cab passes through the large pulley on top of mine, going down, going under the same pulley at the bottom of the mine, rises through the two small pulley on the bottom of the cab (perpendicular relative to the top a pair of pulleys), goes down to the bottom of the shaft at a small pulley provided with a ratchet, and then at a third large pulley, and finally through a small pulley where the rope end and is attached to a small counterweight, which allows to keep the hoisting rope taut. The perpendicular arrangement of pairs of pulleys mounted on the cab, is designed to «lift prevent tipping kitchen in which it cuts into the frame, which inevitably happens.»
The magazine «Scientific American» on January 12, 1861 offered this description of dumbwaiters Andrew Mertafa: «The tireless efforts of the inventor for more than four years, reaching an all-time perfection crowned its systems. They can be equally well used in houses and stores. They are safe, stable and arranged so perfectly that nothing can fail; loads transported on them not bend, do not spill or broken. Their design allows you to carry heavy loads, for example, logs or coal, and they are made so that you can raise or lower the coal ash, do not get dirty elevator. They can be used for evacuation in case of fire, if the fire stairs cut off, as people can easily get on the elevator and comfortably raise and lower yourself on it. They require minimal space at the top of the shaft than for other kitchen elevators; they can be mounted on any floor and leave, without fear that they will fall. Finally it can be made cheaper than other constructs because of their durability and advantages provided. «
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this disclosure is inadvertent references to the possible use of the kitchen lift as a means of evacuation in case of fire, if the need arises.
In addition to the talent of the designer, Andrew Mertaf possessed exceptional talent to advertise their products. In the 60-ies of the XIX century, numerous publications were full of advertisements about «proprietary dumbwaiter Mertafa.» In 1877, the text is slightly changed: now they talked about «improved proprietary dumbwaiter Mertafa.» This change reflects the emergence of the third patent and exit the stage Mertafa James as the leader of the company. The new patent "Improvement dumbwaiter" (patent № 195,526 on 25 September 1877) contains an improved braking system and gearbox reflect -Located in the upper part of the shaft -normativnoe means for transmitting energy to the dumbwaiter hand or «activating the rope.» According to James Mertafa, in his new dumbwaiter effectively combines «ease of use and reliability with high durability.» He called for «Architects, builders and those who are going to build a» take into account «numerous advantages» of its products. In its advertisements is a list of 13 «advantages»: the ability to adapt to any place where there was an old dumbwaiter, and new buildings; speed is that you can raise or lower the dumbwaiter on the 4th floor in less than a minute; Lift stops where you left it, without the need for mounting, with or without load; lift can be raised or lowered at any floor they serve; through a system of pulleys no noise from the gearbox, there is no excessive wear of ropes; besides the fact that it is the best waiter in all other respects, it can be used as a means of fire escape, if cut off the path to the stairs.
James Mertaf advertised not only what he called his «standard dumbwaiter,» but it issues a «few species of domestic dumbwaiters, lifting wheel, kitchen elevators for stores, freight lifts and elevators for the disabled most approved specimens shipped as soon as possible «.
In 1880, James Mertaf announced that 75,000 of its dumbwaiters operated «in all major US cities.» After 5 years, the figure has risen to almost 87 000. In 1885, the evaluation of these mechanisms sounded in the image of the previous reviews:
«Pulley system, produced by Mr. Mertafom, no doubt, are the safety and durability of all … and the latest improvements made to them in the system, they can be considered the closest to the ideal from the point of view of society.»
Although the exact nature of these «recent improvements» are not disclosed in this report, the following year, James Mertaf got one last patent: «dumbwaiter» (patent № 353,458 on Nov. 30, 1886). This patent relates to the work of two dumbwaiters in one shaft, but it is unknown whether there was ever released such a system. In 1885, advertising has moved beyond the machines themselves and touched James Mertafa enterprises in which they were issued:
«The company perfectly organized and equipped with the best machines and devices approved for release dumbwaiters. The company employed only the best workers and guaranteed execution of all works. «
One of the latest reports of James Mertafa published in 1898, just four years before his death in 1902. In this report, published in the journal «History of real estate, construction and architecture in New York,» a parallel between Mertafom and Nestor and enthusiastically praised his kitchen lifts:
«More than 100,000 units of its production is now operating in all notable hotels, clubs, public and private institutions, apartment buildings, private homes and hospitals, the US and Europe. 90% of manual kitchen lifts used on Fifth Avenue in Murray Hill, released Mertafom. It may be added that all Americans, built-bezhom Zara, bought kitchen lifts Mertafa and that throughout his long career has not been a single serious accident, associated with the operation of its manual systems. «
Although reference to a wide range of products and a strong presence of its systems in the homes of the rich and famous (on Fifth Avenue in Murray Hill) deserves attention, perhaps even greater interest is the idea of using these machines in Europe and other regions of the world. More than 100,000 systems built for more than 50 years, combined with the international market (albeit modest) indicates the presence of a serious imperceptible dumbwaiters in the history of vertical transport. Of course, James Mertaf was one of the leading manufacturers of dumbwaiters of the XIX century, but there were other people and companies play an equally active role in this dynamic specialized field. In subsequent articles, we will look at the activities of these companies, including the New York-based Sedgwick Machine Works and Chicago companies Burdett-Rowntree Co.