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107-Year-Old Elevator and Doors

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Mark Bowling and Libbie Martin

One of the only constants in the history of a 107-year-old industrial warehouse in Louisville, Kentucky, has been a Murphy freight elevator with manual doors by The Peelle Co. The building was originally constructed in 1904 as the Kentucky Packing and Provision Co. and later served as a slaughterhouse for many years. This three-story brick building has had only four owners in its history and was most recently purchased in 1988 by Martco, Inc., a wholesale distributor of security cameras and equip-ment used in elevators and other applications.

While working on a video project about the building, Martco Director of Marketing Libbie Martin and her team marveled at the sturdiness and reliability of the old hoist-way doors. She contacted the manufacturer, and upon visiting the site, Peelle’s Michael Ryan found that the doors are operated by a web strap and manual force, with a click of the latch signaling the doors are locked in place. The car-switch elevator starts with a jolt, and the operator must look for corresponding white lines painted on the door and wall at each floor to know where to stop the car for proper alignment with the building floors. With tech-nology evolving so quickly, it’s refreshing to know some-thing designed a century ago is still functional and used on a daily basis.

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Elevator World | November 2012 Cover

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