Selfridges store lift: 1928
3 0 c m
40cm
actual image size: 28cm x 22cm

Selfridges store lift: 1928

Birmingham Guild of Metalworkers

© Museum of London

Full image caption

Selfridges lift and external panels. The screen and doors incorporate figures as signs of the Zodiac. The internal panels incorporate bird designs. The metal decorative panels in the interiors of the lift cars are the work of Edgar William Brandt (1886-1960). The metalwork of the exterior screens was made by the Birmingham Guild of Metalworkers. They incorporate the work of Walter Gilbert and his assistant Louis Weingartner, formerly of the Bromsgrove Guild of Metalworkers, which they both left in 1922. They were also responsible for the metal screen in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.
By the 1920s Selfridges was the most glamorous department store in London. Gordon Selfridge placed enormous importance on interior decoration as a way of impressing customers. These bronze and cast iron Brandt, Edgar lifts were installed in 1928, in time for Selfridges' 20th anniversary celebrations in 1929. The swan design gave the panels an exotic Japanese look and the figures represent the signs of the zodiac. Selfridges initially employed young women to operate the lifts but, after World War II, disabled ex-servicemen gradually replaced them. Lifts were removed in the 1970s when escalators became popular.
 

Artist/Photographer/Maker

 

Date

1928 AD - 1928 AD
 

Image Number

004992
 

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