We thought the days were gone for manned lifts but we were wrong. 72 year old Ann Kearney from Iowa has only just put her button pressing fingers to rest after 32 years of manually opening and closing lift doors. We wonder if the lift companies in Iowa still have manned lift installation enquiries.

The American Trust & Savings building in Iowa is the last manned lift standing and for those who can’t quite remember how these lifts operate in comparison to today’s lifts, here’s a quick roundup. Manned lifts are simply operated by a willing (and dedicated) individual, who pulls open the lift doors, as well as pushes them close again and presses the desired floor button. It might not sound like a glamorous job, but I bet there’ll be some stories to tell and meet some interesting people along the way. This is exactly what Ms Kearney did for 32 years. She had to slide open two elevator doors, then a heavy metal outer door, followed by an ornate accordion gate and then pull them closed again. Ann’s last day was last week and she will be dedicating her time to her grandchildren and having some well-deserved time off! We don’t blame you Ann!

It’s a rare case today to be asked to complete a lift installation for a manned lift, but we never say never and are always open to requests. We would love to see a lift being operated by a human and to take a ride in it! We’d feel like someone rather important!