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Farm + Industrial Antiques and Collectibles Old belt driven farm equipment: shellers, milkers, threshers, pumps, washers and antiquities of the industrial revolution.

Farm + Industrial Antiques and Collectibles

Old Shop or Barn Platform Elevator


I have been looking at a well built, old, factory built elevator contraption. I think this unit...

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Old 07-22-2010, 02:31 PM
Alan D. Alan D. is offline
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Default Old Shop or Barn Platform Elevator

I have been looking at a well built, old, factory built elevator contraption. I think this unit was used as a lift in a large farm barn. I do not have pictures that would do any justice as it is dismantled currently. The best I can describe is it is manually raised with a large diameter hemp rope over a huge sheave. That sheave in turn runs a smaller gearset and some type of reduction assembly. Ultimately, a platform is raised which is about 8' square. It reminds me of a typical dumb waiter that is used in a house or place of business but is much larger. I can't see any location for an electric motor drive or flat belt pulley for running with a motor. Can anyone steer me in a direction that I can find information on this type of machinery? I am thinking about buying it to use as a lift to access my barn loft.
Help me if you can!
Regards, Al
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:32 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Old Shop or Barn Platform Elevator

Without pictures of the machinery, it is hard to tell what drove it. The drive may be inside the machinery, enclosed, it may have been exrwenal, and or it may have been simply hooked up to a PTO. Without a look see, it is almost impossible to tell.
Andrew
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:51 PM
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Tom Cwach Tom Cwach is offline
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Default Re: Old Shop or Barn Platform Elevator

I used to operate one of those in an old John Deere dealership that was established in the 1880s. 3 stories and a basement.

I guess as a high school kid I was expendable.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:02 AM
Alan D. Alan D. is offline
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Default Re: Old Shop or Barn Platform Elevator

This unit looks to be late 1800's. It has a huge, probably 4 or 5 foot diameter sheave that is grooved to fit a pull rope. I will try to get a couple of pictures but it may be hard to tell what the devil it is. I surely can't see any place for a more modern drive!. I also can't tell what would stabilize the lift platform during lifting or loading. It must have some type of guide or guides. It must have some type of brake device to keep it from free falling when you let go of the pull rope?
I am surely baffled but curious at the same time. It is probably similar to a dumb waiter that inside a wall but this thing uses a lift platform that is about 8' square.
Al
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:07 AM
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Jebaroni Jebaroni is offline
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Default Re: Old Shop or Barn Platform Elevator

A lot of the old freight elevators were powered by you, the operator. Pulling on one side of the rope raised the platform. Pulling on the other side of the rope lowered it. Usually, they also had cables and counterweights to help balance the weight of the platform. You see these all the time in old-time hardware stores and even in some older apartment buildings. Do a google search for manually powered elevators or human powered elevators.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Old Shop or Barn Platform Elevator

The one I was on had a brake shoe that rode on the big rope pulley. A rope hooked to it hung along side the platform in the shaft. At the needed stop you wrapped the brake rope onto a cleat on the platform. The platform weight would hold the brake.

The elevator shaft had a vertical 4X4 at each corner to guide the platform. No safety backup if anything broke.

I was told the dealership would put wagons and other equipment on upper floors in the horse farming days. There was parts and lawnmowers stored in upper floors when I was there.

My boss would have me hold the brake as hard as I could and then load the platform with as many boxed mowers and stuff the brake would hold and then throw one or two more on. He would then run down two flights of stairs and as I reached the main level pull boxes off till I came to a stop.

One day this didn't work out so well for him. He lost footing and started tumbling down the stairway, A short pause at the second story landing and he continued down to the main floor. I went past the main floor laughing with tears rolling and ended up in the basement. The boss ended up with a broken leg and some cracked ribs. The other guys didn't think it was as funny as I did.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:08 AM
ken karrow ken karrow is offline
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Default Re: Old Shop or Barn Platform Elevator

When I was young, dad worked in a place with a rope operated elevator to the second floor. It was big enough to put a short wheelbase pickup on it. They would unload a freight truck on the street, then put merchandice (paint, thinner, tires, etc.) on a pickup,run the PU on the elevator, up to the second floor, back down the aisle, unload, reverse and repeat. The building was originaly an auto dealership I beleive. The next door building was a Pontiac - IHC dealership and they had a ramp to the second floor. They stored implements and tractors on the second floor. Used to do cars as well but by about 1956 the Pontiacs got too big to make the bend at the top of the ramp. Ken
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