Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Functional Design?

Original Image from:

Virtually all of the escalators I've ridden in the United States feature stiff bristles on the sides of the escalator. In the picture above they are look like a dark strip running the entire length of the machine. Are these bristles for cleaning your shoes? I asked this to my friend Mark as we rode on an escalator at a recent Golden State Warriors game we attended, and sadly I was rebuked by him.
It's not that I've ever used the bristles, because I have no idea if the person in front of me stepped in shit. I don't want that in my shoe.
My other theory is that the bristles have some kind of lubrication that is vital for the escalator's stairs to operate.


Mad.J.D. said...

All rebukes aside, I think the bristles are in place to save your shoes, kind of like a curb feeling mechanism on large luxury cars. When your feet touch the bristles, you know you are close to the edge and can adjust your position accordingly--all of this with no harm to your shoes. Without the bristles, there is no warning system. By the time you realize you are hitting the side, your shoe might be scuffed by the smooth metal of the side of the escalator given your movement. Then you'd be like: "Why can't they have bristles or something there to save my shoes?!"

How's that?

Mad.J.D. said...

I showed this to Justin and he googled "escalator bristles" and there is a hit confirming my theory.

I apologize for the google plug. I'm not trying to bump up the price before you buy stock.