Friday, March 18, 2011

Escalate Yourself!

Escalator Guts

The escalators into the gym seem to break down with some regularity (see above.) To have to wallk up or down a stilled escalator disconcerts me. My brain is not used to irregularly-sized steps. So I take the elevator (one floor.)

I wondered how escalators "go" so went to to find out. Huge entry that I couldn't possible condense down in this space, so let's hit some highlights...

Nathan Ames, of Saugus, Massachusetts, invented the escalator in 1859, but in a very limited way. No working model of his invention was ever built; his patent was just for some drawings.

Following in his footsteps, Leamon Souder in 1889 did the same thing. Jesse Reno and George A. Wheeler did the same thing in 1892 - drawings, no model. In Texas this is called, "All hat, no cattle."

Finally, in 1896, Jesse Reno actually did build one at the Old Iron Pier, Coney Island.

Escalators are practical because they can move more people than an elevator can at one time and in a smaller space -- the same as a staircase. In 2004, the US had 30,000 escalators (how did they know? Are escalators licensed, like a car?) that people used 90 billion times. An elevator that moves 1.5 ft. per second can move 170 people in five minutes.

The longest system (several escalators) is in Hong Kong. It's 2,600 ft. long and moves people from the Central section (offices) to their homes in another huge apartment bulding. It goes one way based on rush hours.

The shortest (32.8 in.) is located in a shopping center in Kawasaki, Japan.

The longest in the US is the Washington, DC, Metro station's which is 230 ft. long with a vertical rise of 115 ft. Travel time is 2 minutes, 45 seconds.

Trivia Time: Escalators in India have a special feature called a "sari guard" which keeps the trailing saris of the womenfolk out of the treads.

No comments: