The Speed Demons

Collection 10 in our Hall of Humor

by William C. Sturgeon

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Graphic satirists portrayed the elevator operator as a “speed demon” driving his cabin through the hoistway without concern for passengers. Cartoons of the era depicting passengers being levitated or otherwise discommoded by “cowboys” pushing acceleration, speed and deceleration to the limits. Among the amused were industry insiders who knew over-speed devices limited the car speed. Whether with attendant or operatorless, the car controls could only start and stop motion!

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