Saturday, April 16, 2005

A paternoster by any other name...

So in an idle moment (several idle moments actually), I went looking on the Internet for references to the word "paternoster" that did not involve beads.

In case you ever wanted to know, Paternoster is.....

... a music group from the 1970s...
"Amongst the most legendary of Austrian underground bands, but with a virtually undocumented history, Paternoster originated from Vienna, and existed for only two years in the early-70's, disbanding after the release of just one album."

... a fishing village and tourist destination on the West coast of South Africa....

... a pub in London ...
(it's located on Paternoster Square)

...a gospel choir in Dusseldorf, Germany...


... a geological term:,

"Paternoster lakes" refers to a string of small lakes along a valley.

...a Christian publishing house ...
"Celebrating 70 years... Paternoster has a long history of providing the church pastor, seminary professor and college student with reference tools, research monographs and cutting edge theological books..."

...an art theater in Frankfurt, Germany...
"The Paternoster, that is the wildest small art stage for artists of all kinds, Frankfurt ever saw."

...and finally, a type of elevator...

From Wikipedia:

A paternoster or paternoster lift is an elevator which consists of a chain of open compartments (each usually designed for two persons) that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. Passengers who are agile enough can step on or off at any floor they like.

Paternosters were popular throughout the first half of the 20th century as they could carry more passengers than ordinary elevators. They were more common in Europe, especially in public buildings, and less so in Great Britain.

Today, in many countries new construction of paternosters is not allowed any more because of the high danger of accidents (people tripping or falling over when trying to enter or alight). Also, an increased sensitivity to the needs of the disabled, for instance wheelchair users, has led to the paternoster's gradual demise. Existing ones remain operative until they are dismantled, so there are still some, but their number is continually decreasing. As objects that belong to a vanishing world, for some people paternosters have achieved cult status.

An irrational yet common misconception is that it is dangerous to stay on in an upgoing cabin after it has reached the top floor or in a downgoing one after it has passed the ground floor level. However, nothing much happens in such a case, as the compartment remains upright.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Emy said...

We had a set of paternoster lifts at my undergrad university library. Scared the life out of me as a first year! *grin*

5:29 AM  

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