Monday 2 August 2010

Revolving doors

Before I embarked on this piece of completely superfluous writing I thought I had better investigate to discover whether 'revolving door' had an official nomenclature in the way that a moving staircase is correctly called an escalator and a lift is properly an elevator. I discovered that it hasn't. Wikipedia informs 'H. Bockhacker of Berlin was granted German patent DE18349 on December 22, 1881 for "Tür ohne Luftzug" or "Door without draft of air"' and that 'Theophilus Van Kannel, of Philadelphia, was granted US patent 387,571 on August 7, 1888 for a "Storm-Door Structure".'
Thereafter it was commonly known as a revolving door.

Whether they revolve clockwise or anti-clockwise (widdershins, like witches!) depends on which side of the road vehicles are driven. Now I wouldn't have thought that vehicles would need to enter buildings at all, let alone through revolving doors, and I was right! In fact, I am at a loss to understand why the direction in which they turn would make any difference. I drive on the left-hand side of the road in a right-hand drive car. I gather that revolving doors in this country turn counter-clockwise allowing my fellow Brits and I to enter and exit buildings only on the right side of the door. Citizens of countries who drive their left-hand drive cars on the right-hand side of the road should expect their revolving doors to turn clockwise, meaning they enter and exit constructions only on the left side of the door. Apparently this is not always the case. Counter-revolutionary designers and builders at work there, perhaps!
I have thought for a long time that revolving doors might be useful in our house. There are quite lengthy periods when Barry, the dogs, the cat and I are the main inhabitants (I don't class spiders, silverfish and assorted other invertebrates as residents) but there are many occasions when so many people and dogs are seeking access to the indoors, or the outdoors if they're already in, that revolving doors would make sense. Actually, it's the dogs that would benefit most from such an installation in the sitting room as they seem to prefer solitude when they're going into the garden. This means that my time is taken up with opening and closing the patio door as they exit and enter in turn. I half expect them to queue at the door, next in line for the great outdoors. Sometimes I simply leave the door open but this can be rather uncomfortable in winter when the rain is lashing and howling winds cause shivers.
The front door arranged as a circulating entrance and exit would be useful for family. Five arrive, three leave, another one appears and then they all go. It's rather like the ebb and flow of the tide. Numbers can rise from two humans and five animals to seven people and seven animals (there's a pleasing symmetry to that!) then another two humans appear, sometimes with a cat, then another two, and one more and finally the last five arrive. We play musical beds, too, though not quite Cox and Box as people stay at different times for different periods. The house is very quiet when the last visitor/s leave and feels rather empty, notwithstanding four dogs and a cat, but I am always thankful that I don't have to run a Bed and Breakfast establishment. Catering for my family is a labour of love and though I generally like my fellow humans I don't particularly want to share bed and board with them.
I don't think revolving doors would look quite right in our house after all so we'll stick with the conventional accesses.


  1. I've just been revolving round the doors I enter in my head, yes all anti clockwise and I've never noticed.
    Your queuing dogs must have some canine fitness plan for you.

  2. Thanks to you I learned new word "the revolving door" I had never heard that and had to consult my German dictionary. First I thought it has something to do with revolution, but apparently it's only a door which turns, which would also be very practical in my house with the 4 cats.
    I always make my testament before I come to the UK because when I cross the street I always look to the wrong side first, jut the time to be run over by a car who drives on the wrong side ! I also want to sit on my friends knees because she sits on the wrong side when she drives ! Fortunately in London they understand the poor stupid tourists, at least there is written "look left" "look right", lol
    Roundabouts are a nightmare I tell you !

  3. Joy, I'd never considered it before, either.
    Gattina - you do make me laugh ;-)


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