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Being a lift mechanic.


Jarrod ,I would have rather contacted you by PM .It seems that this facility is no longer available ,however not to worry. Just thought you may be interested in to following. It's probably about 25 years ago ,I was informed that there were some pieces of machinery dumped on a vacant block in outer suburban Perth. Out of curiosity I visited and found a number of Ford model T body panels ,a large Dennis ,from memory 4 cylinder engine and an unusual piece of machinery . It had a large diam grooved pulley that transmitted drive through bevel gears to bob weights. I much latter found out that it was an Otis elevator [ or lift ] governor. I gained this information by way of a data plate on the mechanism. To find out more about the item I contacted the Otis office in Perth . I was able to speak to a very helpful person ,a Mr John Farrow who was the Otis sales manager. John was able to provide the following . The item was a Otis Elevator Co safety governor ,serial number 280728 car speed 300 fpm ,trip speed 395fpm ,the llft rego number was 0229. The lift was installed in the Goldsbrough Mort building 164 St Georges Tce Perth in 1930. Goldsbrough Mort were from memory a agricultural and stock agent , long since gone and the site now occupied by the State Government Insurance Office . The method of working was in the event of a cable breakage and the car free falling a cable around the large grooved pulley would rotate the bob weights via the bevel gears at the trip speed which would release a spring loaded latch and brake shoes would lock onto rails on the side of the lift shaft. Of course Jarrod you will know all this but others perhaps not. I mounted the governor on a suitable trolley and drove it by way of a vee belt and small J.A.P. 2S motor . It always attracted quite a lot of attention and many questions. I eventually gave it to a friend who has a museum in Kataning WA. Chester Smiths museum is well worth a visit.
As a matter of interest the Dennis engine No 15303 was originally in a portable fire pump owned by COR at a air port in Dubai. The condition of this engine was perfect and was used in the restoration of a vintage fire engine . The T model panels were badly rusted so I left them .
Hope you were interested Jarrod.
Regards Winchester .


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release a spring loaded latch and brake shoes would lock onto raa the bevel gears at the ils on the side of the lift shaft. Of course Jarrod you will know well worth a visit.

Interesting Winchester. Old mine cages (to raise men up and down the shaft) , were probably the inspiration for this idea. Although they had no governor, when the weight came off the mechanism, eg a rope breakage, two spring loaded steel latches would dig into two wooden rails on each side of the shaft. The cage would come to a fairly sudden stop. Pictured are a couple of old cages near a local gold mine. You can see the mechanism on the side.



Always happy to read these little stories.
Winchester: the machine number 280728 would indicate that the lift may have been modernised in about 1964/65. (very common as DC supplies were decommissioned through the 60's - I don't know when this happened in Perth. In Brisbane, it was about 1969 when the trams were shut down) Those governors were made from pre WW1 until about 1965/66. There are many still in service. The original machine number would have been 157xxx .

AussieIron: on a lift, we would call that "slack rope safeties". All lifts so equipped were mandatorily retrofitted with overspeed governors in the 40's / 50's by whatever method was deemed appropriate by those doing the work. There is at least one of those still in service in Brisbane that I know of, and possibly a few others which we have not had the contract on for many years. These had wooden backing timbers and round rails and had sort of snail cams (like rope locks) which would bite into the backing timbers. The timber used by us was Tallowwood. (sp?)

Cheers, Jarrod.

Peter Short

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Here is a lift governor I saw a few years back at the Whangarei Stationary Engine Club museum. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of the name plate.

Lift governor.jpg


That's a fairly late one (note Nyloc nut holding the gear on - can be seen poking out through the hole in the gear cover. I've seen these covers in pictures, but none of the ones here have them. Most of these governors will have the test date stamped into the data plate making dating easy.

I have two of these from the early 40's and plan to hook one up to an engine.