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Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator [Anglais] [Relié]

Andreas Bernard

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.0 étoiles sur 5  5 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 A waste of time 28 avril 2014
Par Dean S. Maclaughlin - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I read the first third of the book (roughly), then skimmed the remainder. The book was more about the psychological/social issues raised by the elevator (interpersonal relations in a small cabin and the transition of upper stories of buildings from undesirable to desirable). There was very little written about the technical aspects of the elevator and the current problems in buildings of extraordinary height. The author is German, and most of the examples and regulations quoted were from Germany. The book was very repetitive and could have been much shorter, thus the skimming.
7 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting for a Niche Audience 20 mars 2014
Par SeattleMama - Publié sur
The United States was the first country to make domestic use of the elevator. Its immense tenement apartments could only be so tall if people were going to take the stairs. Initially, elevators were used mostly to haul heavy freight up and down.

Mr. Otis changed all that. The real inventor was Otis Tufts, but history is generally written by the victors, and so the EG Otis Elevator Company gets credit for the passenger elevator with the safety mechanism that was demonstrated at the Crystal Palace in New York City in 1854. As the crowd that had been beckoned watched breathlessly, the elevator, centrally located and visible on all sides, had its cable cut. Everyone gasped, of course, and anticipated its immediate crash. However, the safety mechanism engaged and so instead of a deadly rushing descent, the elevator simply halted.

What was everyone so afraid of to begin with? Well, to this reviewer, it seems natural that until the elevator had become a normal part of city living, people would be afraid of it. I don’t care for heights much, myself; my mother, who didn’t fear heights, was claustrophobic, and always let out a small gasp of relief when we exited a crowded elevator together.

There’s more to it, though. Elevators, Bernard says, had become related in the public eye to mines. A lot of people work in mines, but a lot of people get dead there, too. I am not sure whether the public’s fear of elevator shafts that descended to mines was a reflection on elevators so much as on the mining companies, but that’s another story, another book. In any case, people were afraid of passenger elevators until the widely publicized safety mechanism had been demonstrated.

Elevator history: go figure. Why was I so determined to read this particular nugget? I entered a free-book contest for it three times on another site and never got the book, but I was curious. You see, for most of the ten years of my first marriage, my spouse worked for the Schindler Haughton Elevator Company. Every time he and I boarded an escalator or elevator together, he would look for the name stamp to see whether he might, by chance, have built this particular machine. He gave a sigh of disappointment when he saw the name “Otis”, which was on about 60% of the elevators in the Midwestern USA in the 1980’s. Haughton must have been absorbed by Otis, or else Otis simply chose to disregard the competition. I had hoped for a brief synopsis of how the various companies merged, but the history reads as if Otis was virtually the only company to ever exist here, which really isn’t the case.

If you have a strong interest in architecture or the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the way buildings and cities have come into being, you may enjoy this book. For me, it ended very much like the elevator in the Crystal Palace; it went along for awhile…and then it stopped.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 9 juillet 2014
Par James T. Sparkman - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Good Book
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting but difficult 30 juin 2014
Par ann rosenberg - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
When buying the course I did not realize that it was a translation from the German. I learned many new English words working my way through the book. It would be interesting to see the German text.

Interesting material but as I am not familiar with German literature many of the insights were wasted on me.

I read the Kindle version which had a bit of difficulty handling the illustrations.
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book is interesting to me because; at heart I am a nerd and a geek who loves elevators, their history, construction and the social impact elevators made in our lives. The writing style in this book is filled with big words not used in the common man's lexicon. The writers are social scientist's first and the way of speaking in this book never once lets you forget that. The writing style in this book is aloof and difficult to follow at times. Also the sentence structure is so odd at times in this book you wonder exact fact the authors are trying in vain to convey. The book uses odd 18th century terms without giving its 21st century audience a clue what these odd old world terms mean. I understand weird old terms because; I am a weird old man but, this book is hardly what I'd call accessible to the common reader. Elevators and their history are a fun and exciting subject if presented correctly.

Unfortunately Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator is not presented in anything even closely resembling a fun or interesting treatment. Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator seems to go out of its way to make dull and boring the most interesting facts about elevators. I give the book three stars only because; the book Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator is factually very accurate. I give Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator three stars also because some of the pictures of old elevators are simply awesome.

I so very much wanted to love Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator and give it rave reviews but, in good conscience I can't say this book is fascinating to read. Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator is a chore to read because; the writers are social scientist's firs they don't have the inborn passionate love of elevators as a subject that would have given this dull dry book the spark of life. Yes Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator has done a great job making sure the facts are all here properly and carefully laid out. This is not a book written by people who LOVE ELEVATORS, and the deep beautiful cultural force they have become since their invention. I have learned as a writer myself that when you have a passion about your subject matter it shows in the product no matter what your subject matter. This book Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator is extremely adequate but their is no true abiding profound love of the art, science and cultural impact elevators have made on all our lives.

This is a very good book my problem is that with just a little more love and passion about elevators this could have been a great book that was all kinds of fun to read. When I first saw this book I too hoped to be "Lifted" by a great book that loved elevators much as I do. Unfounately this book is no "Lifter" Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator more of a downer using the steps. Where's the fun in that!
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