Hall of Humor

While the late founder of Elevator World, William C. Sturgeon, served as our editor emeritus, he arranged and edited hundreds of ELEVATOR WORLD cartoons into collections. Over the course of the next year, we will make each collection available on our blog, Elevator World Unplugged. And, if you are good with a pen or pencil, Mr. Sturgeon’s invitation below to submit your cartoons to Elevator World for publication online is still open. We look forward to see what you will create. Email us here.

Below, you will find Mr. Sturgeon’s original introduction to the industry’s “Hall of Humor” and a link to each collection as it becomes available.

Graphic Humor Within the Elevator Industry

by William C. Sturgeon

WCS_NEW_0609-150x150Shortly after ELEVATOR WORLD was founded in 1953, members of the elevator field began forwarding cartoons for publication within the magazine. The most effective were drawn by the industry’s own fieldmen, draftsmen, salesmen and engineers who poked fun at fellow industry specialists or the supposed eccentricities of friends. Passengers were particular targets, and as technology advanced, the humorous drawings also changed to depict the era of elevator operators, then automatic elevators and, finally, glass observation elevators and escalators. Accordingly, the hundreds of cartoons were arranged in collections that provide a window upon the passing parade of technology and the response of industry members and the passengers they serve.

No doubt, the viewers, like the writer has been over the years, will be stimulated by each creative depiction wherein two, or more, unimaginable actions, situations and/or individuals collide to provide a brief shock — the spontaneous synthesis which is the essence of creativity!

Hopefully, these representations of the past will stimulate other members of the elevator industry to forward their graphic portrayals of unimaginable incidents, apt to strike the funny bone of fellow readers. The new cartoons will be added to the appropriate categories with the name of the cartoonist and/or presenter.

The cartoons received from various parts of the world for almost 50 years indicate that humor is a universal language. Graphic surprises without cutlines are often quickly understood. Should a cutline add to the comprehension, translations are relatively simple these days on the Internet. The representations will eventually have punchlines in every major language!

An advantage of the online presentation is that the cartoons may be lifted off and reproduced/enlarged/posted/mailed for further dissemination, so the good humor may be spread and shared. Laughter — or a grin, even — is good medicine!

Participate in our industry’s Hall of Humor by having your signed graphic representation in the permanent collection!


  1. A Veteran’s View
  2. From Fieldman to Contractor
  3. Little Joe and His Mentor
  4. Working with the Tools
  5. Captionless Cartoons
  6. Strips for Action
  7. Captions Seeking Substance
  8. The Human Controllers
  9. Not On the Level
  10. The Speed Demons
  11. The Long Wait Home
  12. The Pesky Pistons
  13. Unreliable Ropes
  14. More to come!

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