Before There Were Elevators…

There was the Paternoster. First built in 1884 by the Dartford, England engineering firm of J & E Hall Ltd., The Paternoster, or Paternoster lift is similar to that of an escalator. It’s made up of several open compartments designed to carry 1-2 people that travel around a loop within a building without stopping. It travels slowly, (at 0.3 meters per second), for getting on and off easily.

The construction of the Paternoster is no longer allowed in many countries due to multiple accidents caused by people tripping or falling when entering or exiting. Five people were killed in by paternosters from 1970 to 1993. Some paternosters still remain around the world though, the largest of which is located in the Arts Tower at the University of Sheffield, which also remains the tallest university-owned building in the UK.

Would you get on a paternoster if you came across one? Check out the video below to see how they work!