Lift Traffic Analysis 1890-1960

Lee E. Gray

Wednesday 20th September 2017

A survey of recent literature on lift traffic analysis reveals that only one pre-1950 source is referenced in this body of work: “The Probable Number of Stops Made by an Elevator,” Bassett Jones, General Electric Review, August 1923. Although this investigation included a survey of Elevcon papers from 1986 to 2014, and thus had an international scope, a detailed search for nonEnglish articles was not undertaken as part of this research. While the number of works that include Jones’ 1923 article in their bibliography highlights the significance of this article, the fact that only one source is referenced from the period from 1890 to 1960 prompts the following questions. 1.) What was the intellectual context for Jones’ work? And, 2.) Were there others who sought to establish a mathematical basis for determining lift traffic needs? This paper will examine the history of lift traffic analysis from 1890 to 1960 and will chronicle the initial development and articulation of quantified criteria and mathematical formulas designed for determining the proper number of lifts and required traffic flow. The early history of this subject defines the foundation for contemporary work as well as serving as a reminder that, while many things have changed (often dramatically) since the first half of the 20th century, others appear (perhaps surprisingly) to have remained the same

Citation information: