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Pic of the Week: The Revolvator

Revolvator- a portable elevator

Have you ever seen a Revolvator?It is a portable elevator or tier machine from the early 20th century.

The ceilings in the Science and Business reading room are around 35 ft, so when a light bulb needs to be replaced or the ceiling needs to be patched up, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) breaks out the Revolvator! The Revolvator currently resides in the 5th floor elevator lobby of the Adams Building and  has provoked many inquiries and lively conversations from our visitors.

Working for the New Jersey Revolving Portable Elevator Company, also known as the Revolvator Company, W.E. Boehck made improvements to the existing portable elevator designs of the day. Some of these patents are for the Manually Operated Winding Drum Mechanism, patent number 1,044,008 issued on November 12, 1912; Improvement on portable elevator, patent number 1,282,736 issued on Oct. 29, 1918; and Tiering Machine, patent number patent number 1,342,982 on June 8, 1920.

2 Comments

  1. Pat Padua
    January 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I’ve always wondered about those!

  2. Emily
    January 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Amazing! Reminds me of the paternoster elevator at Oxford University’s old biochemistry building.

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