I thought I'd already posted this question but it seems to have disappeared.
In Edith Wharton's novel Summer, brass cages are mentioned, and I was wondering if anyone can tell me what they are:
A little farther down the street they turned in at a glass doorway
opening on a shining hall with a mahogany staircase, and brass cages in
its corners. "We must have something to eat," Harney said ...
At first, since the novel takes place in the early twentieth century and the characters have walked into what I think is a hotel with a restaurant on the bottom floor, I thought that they could be elevators/lifts, but later in the book I've come across the following:
An hour later, coming out of the glare of the dining-room, she waited in
the marble-panelled hall while Mr. Royall, before the brass lattice
of one of the corner counters, selected a cigar and bought an
The problem I have is that in the later excerpt, I know for sure that the characters are in a hotel, but I don't know whether it's the same one as the one in the first excerpt. So, what do you think? Elevators or some kind of "in-house" shops?
I would go for the latter since the elevators would be more likely to be concentrated in the centre of a building.