Progress: In Office Buildings

The Idea: Better elevators.

The Motive: To eliminate waste motion due to human stupidity, to accelerate service by mechanical perfection.

The Story: In almost every town, there is at least one building containing an elevator. In this small and dirty mechanical marvel there squats an old man, usually colored, holding in his hand a bit of frayed rope. When some citizen or sight-see-er enters the elevator with the desire to be hoisted upward, the old blackamoor makes a sad sound and tugs at his rope. Then there is a flash of light, a noise of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!