GMD Mueller

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Late model GMD Mueller gondola lift in Switzerland

GMD Mueller Lifts AG was a Swiss aerial lift manufacturing firm.

GMD stands for Gerhard Mueller Dietlikon.

Founded in 1947 by engineer Gerhard Mueller, who is credited with the invention of the modern detachable chairlift in the late 1940s, it was one of the most prolific and respected aerial lift manufacturers in skiing history. The company was bought out by the management in 1985 after Muellers death and went out of business in 1992.

In the late 1920s, Gerhard Mueller, a mechanical engineering student, was a newcomer to growing sport of skiing. At the time, there were no user-friendly ski lifts in Switzerland.

At a resort hotel outside Zürich, Mueller created his first usable ski lift consisting of a 1’’ hemp rope and some old motorcycle parts. Naturally, being a rope tow, guests regularly complained about sore hands and torn clothes resulting from using the lift. The Sami people people use reindeer to tow themselves around on skis, but they rest their hands by looping the reins around their hips. Inspired by this practice, Mueller solved the problems of his rope tow by creating the first modern T-bar lift. Muller GMD gave the licence for T-bar lift to polish company Mostostal Zabrze in 1959. Some of this lifts are still exists.

During the 1960s and 1970s GMD Mueller installed more than hundred fixed-grip chairlifts in North America. Many of these lifts are still in service today. In Europe 4-seater gondola lifts with Mueller's patented detachable cable grips and T-bars were more popular. Some resorts, such as Whistler were at the time exclusively equipped with Mueller lifts.

GMD Mueller is also noted for inventing the Aerobus, a self-propelled bus-like vehicle riding on a suspended overhead cable.

Late model GMD Mueller gondola lift in Switzerland

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