A paternoster is a passenger elevator which consists of a chain of open compartments that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. Passengers can step on or off at any floor they like. As a result of safety issues, many such lifts have been shut down.
First built in 1884 by the Dartford, England engineering firm of J & E Hall Ltd as the Cyclic Elevator, the name paternoster was originally applied to the device because the elevator is in the form of a loop and is thus similar to rosary beads used as an aid in reciting prayers.
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