1927 - The Year That Set the Direction of Traction Lift Engineering for a Century

Jaakko Kalliomaki

Wednesday 21st September 2022

. Nearly a century ago in 1927, F. Hymans and A. H. Hellborn published their famous book “Der neuzeitliche Aufzug mit Treibscheibenantrieb” (Modern elevator with traction sheave drive), which had a major impact in the introduction of traction sheave lifts to the European Market and laid the groundwork of modern lift engineering. The book explains the function of traction sheave lifts, the theory of traction calculation and several other key principles of lift engineering. A less known, but likewise important book, was published on the same year by H. Donandt. His dissertation “Über die Berechnung von Treibscheiben im Aufzugbau” (On the calculation of traction sheaves in elevator construction) touched some of the same topics as Hymans’ and Hellborn’s book, but merits independent recognition. A major handicap in understanding the background of modern lift engineering is that to this day neither of the books have been translated into English for the wider lift engineering audience. This article gives an overview on the content of these books and explains how these two books differ in their approach. The article also briefly introduces the authors and the historical framework behind these books. Sections of these books that have had larger significance to this day are given specific attention.

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