Unreliable Ropes

Collection 13 in our Hall of Humor

by William C. Sturgeon


If sinking the plunger was a bugaboo with the hydraulic elevator installation, the traction elevator had its own cross to bear — periodic hoist-rope replacement. Cartoonists could easily concoct all manner of improbable situations concerning these reliable elevator supports. Even though an exceedingly high safety factor was designed into hoist ropes (one of the five or six ropes can support the car and occupants) and frequent inspections made, the cartoonist saw only the inconceivable when hoist ropes became his subject! How else could it be? Continue reading

In Memoriam: Robert S. Caporale


Robert S. “Bob” Caporale passed away on the weekend of September 3. Best known in the industry as longtime editor of ELEVATOR WORLD, Caporale was an industry leader who hailed from the Bronx and began his lifelong career in New York City (NYC) in 1964 as a draftsman at the engineering firm of Jaros Baum & Bolles. There, he advanced to the position of associate and was the principal designer, field engineer and inspector on some of the world’s largest vertical-transportation and materials-handling projects, including the original World Trade Center in NYC and the Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago. In 1990, he joined DTM Elevator Consulting and Drafting Services, where he was director of engineering. In 1991, he joined Syska and Hennessy Engineers as vice president and director of the Transport System Group, where he continued to manage numerous elevator and escalator installation and modernization projects throughout the U.S. He began working for Elevator World, Inc. in 1993 as associate editor. He was appointed editor in 1997, a post he held until March 2014, when he retired and was given the honor of editor emeritus. Never one for idleness, he continued to work, operating his own firm RSC Consulting; serving as editor of the NAESA International newsletter Progress; joining the team of forensic analysts and technical experts at Unified Investigations and Sciences, Inc.; and working with magazine/online news source High Rise Facilities as part of its editorial staff. Caporale is survived by wife, Terri; sons, Anthony and Robert “Bobby”; a grandson and a granddaughter. His family asked that, in lieu of flowers, cards or donations, he be remembered simply with love and laughter, which he considered to be the greatest gifts. Continue reading

The Pesky Pistons

Collection 12 in our Hall of Humor

by William C. Sturgeon

ch12-1aWith the advent of Variable Voltage and AC or DC Leveling, accurate car positioning at the floors was assured and the cartoonist had to look elsewhere to get his kicks! Even while geared and gearless elevator speeds increased in high-rise buildings, the oil-hydraulic type became very popular in applications from two to six floors — and an obvious target for the graphic humorist. At a top operating speed of 175 feet per minute, the direct-action oil hydraulic wasn’t meant to set speed records. Instead, the problems of these sturdy, reliable work horses (freight or passenger) were well out of sight — the pesky jack holes depicted earlier by Joe McNally. The old reliable pistons/plungers became diabolical weapons! As always the graphic satirist found the tender spot!  Continue reading