Friday, June 5, 2015

History Of The Revolving Door...!

We've all seen one. Most of us have used them from time to time, but did you ever wonder where they got their start?

We'll, that where the Hermit comes in. See...it's my job to find out about some of these things, no matter how trivial they may be. The history of anything can be interesting in it's own way, ya know?

The Strange Story Behind The Invention Of Revolving Doors
By Heather Ramsey on Thursday, June 4, 2015

In the late 1800s, Theophilus van Kannel supposedly designed a revolving door because he hated chivalry. He didn’t like to parry with other men over who should enter or exit a door first. Even worse, he hated to open doors for women. As early skyscrapers were built in US cities near the turn of the 20th century, revolving doors became important for internal temperature control. However, although a social phobia may have spurred van Kannel to design revolving doors, phobias, such as claustrophobia, may also keep people from using them.


Improving upon German inventor H. Bockhacker’s patent for a “door without draft of air,” Theophilus van Kannel received a patent for a “storm-door structure,” later called a “revolving door,” in 1888. As the story goes, van Kannel supposedly designed this type of door because he hated chivalry. He didn’t like to parry with other men over who should enter or exit a door first. Even worse, he hated to open doors for women, so we may have a social phobia to thank for his invention.

Fortunately for van Kannel, the revolving door turns etiquette on its head. Rather than wait for a woman to go first, a man is considered to be chivalrous if he leads the way through a revolving door, using his strength to push it into motion. “A gentleman should always go first and assist the woman through the revolving door, and I observe this on a daily basis,” said Joe Snyder, a doorman at the Park Hyatt Chicago hotel.

As early skyscrapers were built in US cities near the turn of the 20th century, revolving doors became important for internal temperature control. With regular hinged doors, outside air would rapidly flow in and rise to the top, making it difficult to keep buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Revolving doors overcame that problem by producing airlocks, although people could still enter and exit. This type of door also reduced the influx of noise, dust, rain, and snow. In recent years, energy costs were estimated to fall by 30 percent when revolving doors were used instead of hinged doors.

However, revolving doors do pose one significant danger that became apparent when almost 500 people died in a fire at a Boston nightclub in 1942. The club had one revolving door that slowed the escape of fleeing patrons. As a result, many revolving doors now have traditional hinged doors placed on either side to make it easier to evacuate a building in an emergency.

Ironically, although a phobia may have spurred van Kannel to design revolving doors, phobias may also keep people from using them. Whether it’s the fear of being in a confined space, of getting your arms or legs caught in the door, or of getting trapped with another person in one of the compartments, many people avoid revolving doors. In 2006, some MIT researchers observed that no more than 30 percent of the students entering a particular building on campus used the revolving doors. The researchers put up some signs to encourage revolving door usage by touting their benefits.

Designer Andrew Shea repeated the MIT experiment a few years later at Columbia University in New York. He also observed that less than 30 percent of students entered a particular building through its revolving doors. When he placed signs on campus to promote the benefits of revolving doors, their usage increased to 71 percent.


Coffee out on the patio again today. Sun is warm already, but no rain is expected!

9 comments:

Chickenmom said...

I remember when department stores had doormen and they yelled at us for going 'round & 'round in them. Oh, what fun they were!

Mamahen said...

As s child I too thought they were fun, bug now the claustrophobia would keep me out of them.

linda m said...

I loved revolving doors as a child and still do . Thank you for telling us all about them. Since today is Dunkin Donuts free donut day I'll bring the Dunkin Donuts. Have a great weekend.

Sixbears said...

It took a trip to "the big city" before I even saw one. Kinda freaked me out as a little kid.

JO said...

Wonderful post today, didn't know this bit of history. Can't recall at this time if any buildings here have them.Back east lots of buildings did.

Coffee on the patio sounds good. we had some rain last evening and overcast today.

deborah harvey said...

remember going into the post office about 50 yrs ago with a cruel man behind me. good thing i was strong. he tried to push so hard that he would have hit me with the door.
it could have been very bad but i held the revolving door to my speed and he couldn't outpush me. hope he's in hell being injured by revolving doors!!

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
That was the case for many of us. Downtown was the place for gadets like that!

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Jo...
Glad to furnish something new to study.

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!



Hey Deborah...
There will always be folks like that around, I guess!

Thanks for the visit today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I can picture that in my mind! Bet it was fun for a kid!

Thanks for stopping in today!



Hey Mamahen...
Many things we thought were fun in the "old days" we would never do now!

Thanks for the visit this morning!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Oh yes, I remember those revolving doors. Always liked them.