Stovepipemike, good story, I appreciate your and your dad's service to our country.
I don't know if I told this here before. My first job in high school was at the Boonton Handbag Factory, 1973. $2 an hour. The elevator was scarey then as I recall.
This immense historic building sits next to the Rockaway River. Years later, 1980, I got a job there to paint every window in the place. It took a year. By then it was the Kanter Bros. warehouse for their used and antique auto parts business. They eventually bought the Packard name.
There was a very old Otis elevator tower on the side of the building. You could see daylight where the bricks separated from the building. There was a massive electric motor directly above the elevator shaft. A couple of my buddys were told to bring a pallet of NOS tie rod ends down from the 4th floor. At the time I was on the garage roof where the old yellow car is.
This ancient elevator had exactly zero safety features except the emergency brakes. They were ball governor actuated dogs that were designed to clamp on to the guide rails in the event of sudden acceleration
Well, they rolled about a ton of parts on a pallet jack into this 1000lb capacity elevator. We all knew the sound of that magnificent artifact of the industrial revolution. It made the kind of startup electric motor hummmm that you hear in movies. It was a very slow freight elevator.
When they hit the down button, the elevator dropped into the basement like a rock. We heard the sound from the garage roof and turned our heads just in time to see the elevator go by the loading dock door window! The sound it made was incredible. Whhhirrrrrrr-Bammmmm. The counterweights must have bounced on the cables.
We thought our buddies were goners. We got into the building just as they were climbing out of the space left between the cage ceiling and the first floor! They said they were afraid the motor was going to come down on top of them!
The safety brake dogs had snapped off the rails like pretzels.
The elevator still worked, and is still working today as far as I know