By Jennifer Blizin Gillis
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The Empire State Building would be a tower, with a center core of elevators, toilets, shafts, stairs, and corridors. The sizes of the floors would diminish, and the elevators—which numbered 64 at the lobby floor—would decrease in quantity as the building rose. To achieve maximum light and air from the outdoors, windows would open and no office would be deeper than 28 feet. The basic Empire State Building design was said to have derived from a simple pencil. As the story goes, Raskob, meeting with Lamb, pulled a thick pencil out of his desk drawer and held it up.
The torch burns a mixture of oxygen and acetylene gas. The gases, contained in separate tanks, are fed to the torch through separate rubber hoses and mixed in proper proportions at the torch head. The flame produced can reach 6,300 degrees Fahrenheit. Because steel melts at approximately 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit, it will quickly give way to the oxy-acetylene flame. By replacing a standard welding blowpipe with a cutting torch, what is normally used to weld metal together can be used instead for demolition.
To clear a hole to bedrock, blasting of the above-schist rock often was required. As Tauranac described it: One workman drilled a hole in the stone. Another took the sticks of dynamite from small wooden boxes and, using a rod, pushed them one by one into the hole. . Everyone except the operator of the nearby steam shovel then backed off. The steam shovel operator covered the hole with a large steel mesh mat. . A muffled thunk would be heard, the carpets would surge up, a cloud of smoke and dust would come from the hole, and the very ground beneath would shake.