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Unique Lifts on Display in London

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This lift was one of several installed in the Selfridges department store (considered the most glamorous department store in London by the 1920s) in 1928. Owner Gordon Selfridge had the bronze and cast-iron lifts installed in 1928, in time for Selfridges’ 20th anniversary celebrations in 1929. The interior metal panels (depicting cranes and known as “Les Cigognes d’Alsace”) were designed by Edgar William Brandt. The metalwork of the exterior screens with figures representing the signs of the zodiac was made by the Birmingham Guild of Metalworkers and incorporate the work of Walter Gilbert and his assistant Louis Weingartner, formerly of the Bromsgrove Guild of Metalworkers.

Selfridges initially employed young women to operate the store lifts, but, after World War II, they were replaced by disabled ex-servicemen. This lift was removed during a refurbishment of the store in 1970-1972 and replaced by escalators, when that equipment became popular. Visitors can see it for free at the Museum of London at 150 London Wall.

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Elevator World | April 2015 Cover

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