Only in New York could a group of Greeters learn almost all there is to know… about elevators!
The Elevator Historical Society is a small museum near Long Island City’s Silvercup Studios, where the TV shows “Girls” and “Person of Interest” are filmed. It was founded in 2011 by Patrick Carrajat who’s been entranced by elevators since he was eleven. By the way, Patrick’s father was an elevator repairman.
It was hard not to enjoy Patrick’s passion for elevators as he showed us around. Paintings of elevators and escalators were displayed on the walls. There were also photos of old-time elevator operators and actual Otis Brothers’ cast iron plates from the 1860s. Other mementos included dial indicators, operator uniforms and ceiling lights from different decades.
One of Patrick’s proudest possessions was an autographed photo of Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet inside an elevator from the movie “Titanic.” Another of his favorites was an elevator built by high school kids (for a science project) that was powered by peddling a bike!
Patrick was in no short supply of elevator history. He talked about the “elevator disease” of 1903 where elevators fell up instead of down, because they were improperly balanced. He has testified 103 times as an expert witness in elevator and escalator injury cases.
He invites all people who “have a thing about elevators” to spend some time with him at the Society. He is not only historical but also hysterical. Openly admitting that he’s been divorced twice, he sees this as an opportunity for humor: “The trouble with elevator guys when you’re going through a divorce is that your wives get the elevator, and you get the shaft.”
He is available for visitors most weekdays but he suggests calling ahead just to be safe. You can reach him at 917-748-2328 or go to the website at http://www.elevatorhistory.org