Unique Elevators and HoistsScaling the Heights Towers, Milestone Buildings / Plumbing Depths / Support for Other Transportation / Aiding the Less-Than-Able / Mini-Lifting / The March of Modernization
Scaling the Heights Towers, Milestone Buildings
In the "Early Hoists and Cranes" Wing, it was seen that early man had a propensity for erecting monuments to his panoply of gods, to One God, or to men considered akin to gods. As befitting a tribute to gods or god-men heroes, the monuments were lofty in their own right or situated upon a high point. Although the churches and cathedrals dedicated to the worship of One God were usually built down among the people, they compensated by being constructed as high as aesthetics and engineering of the time would allow. All these lofty structures required continually improved mechanisms for lifting stone, timber and other material. Later, high towers were seen as utilitarian structures. The Tower of Pharos and its Egyptian companions were erected along the coast of North Africa to guide ships to the major port of Alexandria. As city defense walls grew taller, they were matched in height by assault towers. In Italy where rival families were constrained to remain alert to the activities of others, the top of a tower provided a lookout as well as a refuge of last resort. Eventually, as leisure time itself became a new creation, towers were erected to afford a panoramic view of the countryside or a night cityscape; or to allow a grasp of an exposition as its centerpiece. The commercial aspects of towers came to the fore, as innercity land grew increasingly valuable. High-rise office buildings, hotels and apartment dwellings became symbols of affluence within themselves, often adorned with the names of owners -- the new man-gods. Those of wealth or position sought upper floors and penthouses. As the Age of Agriculture, then Industrialization, gave way to that of Communications, the highest tower with a broadcasting beam became a symbol of power and influence. As the rationale for building higher fluctuated, century after century, increasingly efficient lifting machines were the constant making their erection possible. Thereafter, the lifting machines continually made the monuments (for such they remained) more efficient and safer for the inhabitants and visitors.