Hand-Powered Otis Freight Elevator Saved
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  1. #1
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    Default Hand-Powered Otis Freight Elevator Saved

    In our search for vintage equipment for the restoration of the Rock Mill, a water-powered grist mill, we came upon a hand-powered Otis freight elevator in a building that is scheduled for demolition.

    The elevator has since been removed from the building, and is now in storage, awaiting a decision as to what use to make of it.

    Information from the Otis company indicates that these elevators were manufactured as late as the 1890s.

    The restoration of the mill building is nearing completion. The installation of a new, 26 foot diameter, water wheel is scheduled for September. The timber framed building was built in 1824.


    Bruce E. Babcock
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p2030038.jpg   p2080043.jpg  
    Last edited by Bruce E. Babcock; 03-03-2012 at 06:17 AM. Reason: Photos

  2. #2
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    [1] don't understand the second photograph. Is that the elevator on the trailer?
    [2] please say a bit about how the elevator was operated. Where do you stand and what do you pull on to operate?

  3. #3
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    Marty,

    The entire elevator was transported on that trailer, in one load. The wooden uprights had already been unloaded when I took the photo. The "A frame" structure is the elevator car.

    When in use, there was an endless 1 1/8 inch rope that hung on the huge iron pulley, and extended to the lowest level of the building. (The 1 1/8 inch rope is there, it had simply slipped off the pulley when the photo was taken.) To go up, the operator would stand on the platform of the car and pull on one side of the rope. To go down he would pull on the opposite side. There are heavy iron counter weights that help to offset the weight of the operator and the load. There is a brake that keeps the elevator from rising from the weight of the counter weights, when it is not in use. There is another brake that would automatically grasps the wooden vertical rails if the steel cables should fail.

    Before we disassembled the elevator, it was being used to remove equipment from the upper level of the building.

    The first photo shows the counterweights when the elevator car is at the highest level.

    The second photo shows the brake. There is a rope attached to each end of the diagonal lever. The ropes extend to the lowest level. Pulling on one rope releases the brake, the other rope sets it.

    The mill, where the elevator is now located, is one of 18 sites owned by the Fairfeild County (Ohio) Historical Parks.

    Bruce E. Babcock
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p2030036.jpg   p2030042.jpg  
    Last edited by Bruce E. Babcock; 03-03-2012 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Added Photos

  4. #4
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    So what ever happened to this elevator?

  5. Likes JoeE. liked this post
  6. #5
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    When I was a kid our neighbor ran the local Standard Oil bulk plant. He supplied oil, gas and lubricants to the local service stations and delivered heating oil, gas and lubricants to farms, and homes. The barrels of oil were stored in the basement of the facility. They were taken from the train cars by dolly to the same kind of elevator for transport to the storage area. The elevator was rated for 5,000 lbs. and was operated very easily by a 14 year old skinny kid.

    We must have raised and lowered that elevator 100 times a day loading trucks and unloading train cars. I couldn't believe how well balanced it was. I could raise or lower it using 1 hand while using the other to hold my ice cream cone.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ham549 View Post
    So what ever happened to this elevator?
    The elevator is stored in a clean, dry, warehouse. I don't yet know what we will eventually do with it.

    Bruce E. Babcock

  8. Likes 1935Ron, Mike Mangrich liked this post

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