You know that moment of awkwardness when you’re sucked in to a totally irrational game of chicken with up to three other human beings while attempting to do something as simple as enter your office building through an innocuous-seeming revolving door? While it was reportedly first patented in 1888 by a man who couldn’t deal with having to hold regular swinging doors open for the ladies, the revolving door comes with its own means of sorting us according to levels of everyday neurosis.
The first revolving door was installed in a restaurant called Rector’s in Times Square in 1899. And that’s probably when people started avoiding it. Will some part of me get stuck? Do I have to scurry in there with someone else? 99% Invisible got their foot in the door and took a closer look at how this energy-efficient invention still gets the cold shoulder and how to fight the phobia.