"Car Design 4009 for an Elevator Car for
the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office, Charleston, SC"
By Graves Elevator Company, 1896
Approved by William Martin Aiken
Pencil, ink, and watercolor on tracing paper
12 3/4" x 19 National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Public
Post Office Designs: Charleston, South
Carolina During the late 19th century, iron was frequently
used as decorative as well as structural material. Some designers fashioned
grillwork for elevator cabs and cages by combining lines, vines, flora,
or abstract shapes into intricate patterns. Often, as seen here, the name
of the company, agency, or other identification was worked into the decorative
scheme. Although the elevator was well publicized during its demonstration
at the 1853 New York World's Fair, it did not gain popular acceptance
until the 1890s.