The elevator has had a lot of ups and downs. (Sorry, sorry.) As the innovation gained popularity in the late 1800s, it had a profound effect on the way we organize our cities and ourselves. It was also blamed for a rise in crime, for causing something called brain fever, for destroying civil society, and more.
On this episode of Pessimists Archive, we look at how the elevator shaped our world, why not everyone loved that, and what it has to teach us about the next big change. Because while the elevator may seem like old technology today, it has a big lesson for us about the future of transportation.
• Etiquette in Elevators | The New York Times, 1866
• Avoiding Elevator Sickness | Pittsburg Dispatch, 1890
• The Elevator Sickness | The Daily Republican, 1895
• “So This Is Africa” | Wheeler and Woolsey, 1933
• Maverick Calls for End to Elevator Hat Tipping | El Paso Herald-Post, 1936
• Countering the Power of Suggestion | American Psychological Association
• Beware of Cars with Minds of Their Own | Bloomberg, 2019
• Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator | by Andreas Bernard
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