I like that dropping in an elevator is presented along with someone falling from a street car. I’m pretty sure that the danger of elevators is one of the reasons you’re always supposed to let women and children off first. This seems to be one of those problems that has been completely licked because when was the last time you heard of an elevator accident?


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  1. Toronto says: December 27, 20123:42 pm

    Given a choice, I’d rather have the model steam engine than a $1000 insurance policy with my magazine.

    As to elevators, Otis has only had two memorable crashes in the last 100 years or so – and both involved aircraft crashing into buildings and damaging the cables and such. Schindler brand elevators had a rash of problems a few years ago (I ride them almost daily so I remember.) Overall they’re extremely safe machines.

    Streetcar passengers get hit by idiot drivers here who ignore the “Stop when doors are open” law. It’s rare for a sober person to fall out, but not unheard of. Toronto’s coming “low floor” cars should reduce even that risk.

  2. quadibloc says: December 27, 20128:33 pm

    Basically, Otis invented the safety elevator – when the cables lose tension, spring jaws fly outward, preventing the elevator from falling. Before that invention, accidents may have been more common, if the elevator was even considered safe enough for people to use (as opposed to the dumbwaiter).

  3. Daniel Rutter says: January 13, 201312:46 am

    I don’t think the usual kind of cable-borne elevators for use by the general public (as distinct from, say, mine-shaft elevators) have ever been particularly dangerous.

    It’s just one of those alarmingly memorable ways to die, like plane crashes or snake-bite, that people fear entirely out of proportion to its likelihood.

  4. smokris says: February 24, 20137:09 pm

    This seems to be one of those problems that has been completely licked because when was the last time you heard of an elevator accident?

    Sadly, no. A few years ago in my hometown:…

    “The wrongful-death lawsuit said the elevator had a faulty brake, an inadequate counterweight, a disconnected load-weighing device, no overload-warning system and no adequate safety device to keep it from falling if the brake failed or the doors were open as it moved.”

    Elevator manufactured by Otis.

  5. Toronto says: February 24, 20139:36 pm

    I stand corrected.

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