Story by Kristen Cart
During a recent visit to Nebraska, Dad and I met with the son of Edwin Louis Christoffersen to go through family pictures. Young Ed produced a treasure from among his father’s personal effects. Edwin Christoffersen was superintendent for the Mayer-Osborn Construction job at Cordell Okla., and among his duties was the engineering of a safe and durable elevator. Testing the concrete from a given supplier was of paramount importance.
This logbook shows the results of the testing for each part of the elevator’s structure. It is a fascinating bit of engineering history, and it speaks for itself.
You will notice that the date and time of day was included in the calculations for each test. This is how we were able to determine when the Cordell elevator was built.
While a number of factors were recorded for each test, it is not clear to us what each term meant. Perhaps some of our readers can explain the process to us.
It is a true privilege to see some of the engineering practices in use during the 1950s, at a time when slide rules did the work of computers, yielding sufficient precision to send our astronauts to the moon in the following decade.
These builders, engineers, and innovators were pioneers, working at the pinnacle of their profession. We wish to thank Ed Christoffersen for sharing this priceless piece of history.
- The Cordell, Oklahoma elevator project fused engineering prowess with family ties (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)
- Mystery elevator identified as Mayer-Osborn’s Cordell, Oklahoma project (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)