Trapped in an Elevator for 41 Hours

Nick Paumgarten uses as the dramatic pull for a story on the less than dramatic topic of elevators, the story of Nicholas White, a production manager at Business Week magazine who in 1999 was stuck in an elevator for 41 hours.

The video above is the security camera, fast forwarded to cover 41 hours in three minutes and thirty seconds.

Elevators make modern cities possible, without them, who'd live or work in a building over five stories. And the towering blocks of financial centers like New York, London, Tokyo, Beijing, or the insta-metropolises of Dubai, etc would simply not be possible without them. As an experience of space, social, architectural, technological, elevators are the part of the building we usually most try to ignore. Occassionally strapped to the side of the building and constructed of glass, most people want to merely teleport and not to be annoyed byt he presence of others while doing it, watching the digital numbers tick up, as if it made the machine go faster.

All these ideas and more can be found in Paumgarten's story, "Up and then Down: the lives of elevators" from the New Yorker magazine.

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