Who invented the revolving door?

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Author's Note

There isn't a lot of information about Theophilus Van Kannel's personal life, but I do find his apparent tenacity intriguing. He lived during the Victorian era, a time when following the etiquette was the order of the day, yet may have spent the bulk of his life perfecting an invention that broke all the rules. Even today, there's debate about whether a man should enter first into a revolving door to push it into motion or simply allow a woman to go first.

Related Articles


  • Leibenluft, Jacob. "Do revolving doors really save energy compared with swinging doors?" Slate. July 29, 2008. (Feb. 9, 2013) http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_green_lantern/2008/07/are_revolving_doors_more_energy_efficient.html
  • Made How. "Revolving Door." (Feb. 9, 2013) http://www.madehow.com/Volume-7/Revolving-Door.html#b
  • National Inventors Hall of Fame. "Theophilus Van Kannel." (Feb. 9, 2013) http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/368.html
  • Science Daily. "Theophilus Van Kannel." (Feb. 9, 2013) http://inventors.sciencedaily.com/q/377/7629/When-was-Theophilus-Van-Kannel-entered-into-the-inventor-s-hall-of-fame
  • Stanton, Jeffrey. "Coney Island -- Independent Rides." Westland Network. 1997. (Feb. 9, 2013) http://www.westland.net/coneyisland/articles/independentrides.htm
  • The Rockefeller University. "Green Tip of the Month: Choose the Revolving Door." (Feb. 9, 2013) http://www.rockefeller.edu/about/sustainability/greentips

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