November 18th In-Class Activity

Description of Sources:

Most of these sources have little to do with elevators themselves. Instead, they deal primarily with cities. After gaining a better understanding of the impact taller buildings had on cities, I’m hoping to infer the effects of the elevator on cities.

Monographs: Past, Present and Future by Isaac Asimov – This source is described in a previous blog post titled “The Elevator Effect (1)”. It deals with the idea of looking at a modern day city full of skyscrapers and explaining its workings not knowing about the existence of elevators. The Empire City New York and Its People by Selma Berroll – This source is exactly what its title suggests. It was helpful to me in identifying aspects of a city that are a direct result of elevators. Examples include the congestion that comes along with a high population density, and the apartment style living that takes place in 13-story apartment buildings. The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs – I have yet to examine this source more closely, but my hope is to use it to expand the research I have already started on cities and their relationship to elevators. Anthology: Economic Development and Social Change – This source seems promising as I consider using the value system of economic progress. I’m planning on using the chapter titled “Mechanisms of Change and Adjustment to Change”.

I also found two scholarly articles that focus on the technology behind the elevator. I’m hoping to use them to look at modernizations of the elevator. These modernizations demonstrate how the elevator has changed to meet the needs of today’s world.


How often are new elevator technologies found? (It seems to me that the elevators I’ve used are all the same and  not much has changed)

How have elevators had an effect on cities in terms of leading to their development? (Maybe just go into depth about how the two are related)

Working thesis:

Although elevators tend to be taken for granted, their enablement of tall buildings has led to higher population densities and ultimately to the growth and characterization of the modern day city.



One thought on “November 18th In-Class Activity

  1. This is a very fascinating project! We’ve talked about it in person, and I don’t have a lot to add to that. Many of works that you describe above are new to me– the Asimov, in particular–and I look forward to learning more about them in your paper.

    Liked by 1 person

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