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Early 1950s Route Sheets a Window to the Past

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Recently on LinkedIn, David Banks, senior sales representative at Middletown, Indiana-based FabACab, shared a few pieces of interesting elevator memorabilia: a pair of elevator inspector route sheets dating from 1951 and 1953. An inspector’s record from 1951 was for the Leland Hotel, a Mission Revival-style brick structure built in 1928 in Richmond, Indiana. Still the tallest building in Richmond at 12 stories, it was remodeled in 1963 to become the Leland Motor Inn, then sold to Radisson in 1986. The hotel closed in 1990 and was redesigned as senior-citizen housing in 2001. An elevator professional who worked for an unknown company was charged with semi-monthly maintenance of three eight-stop elevators there.

The 1953 sheet was for Warner Gear Co. in Muncie, Indiana. There, an employee maintained one passenger and two freight elevators at the 1/2-mi-long, 1-million-ft2-plus factory that employed more than 5,000 in its 1950s heyday, when it was a warehouse for auto parts company BorgWarner. Today, the former auto-parts facility sits empty, “a tarnished onetime jewel in Muncie’s manufacturing crown.”[1]

As for which company issued these route books, an “H” in the upper left corner of a page prompted one respondent to theorize the company was Haughton. Banks said the maintenance-route book contains some 25 old inspector’s records, including a few for vertical-transportation systems he ended up managing “60 years later, some with the same equipment.” Check out the rest of the sheets in this month’s Online Extras.

References
[1] Roysdon, Keith. “Once-Mighty BorgWarner Plant
Sits Empty, Waiting in Muncie.” The Star Press, March 23, 2015
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