The first elevator company started up hundreds of years ago. Here are some historical tidbits.

The first elevator company was started as early as the 1600's but it was nothing like the service providers of today. These early elevators weren't even meant for humans to ride in. Instead, they were designed to transport grain or other products up and down inside a factory. Even before they were devised, there were devices called hoists that were containers for transporting items that were powered by a rope. Sometimes, these ropes were cranked up by hand and other times they used the muscles of an animal such as an ox or horse. Archimedes is the intellectual inventor of ropes as pulleys for powering up the hoists. Eventually, these devices went through many technological transformations to morph into the amazingly fast and safe elevators of today. Here are some tidbits about their history:

Factory Lifts

The lifts used in the 1600's in European, Canadian and American factories were fairly primitive compared to what we know as elevators today. They were often open boxes and were powered by steam and hydraulics. These early machines were extremely useful in transporting heavy goods up and down between levels of mines, factories and storage facilities. By the 1700's, French royalty were using the devices to transport queens and princesses to upper floors of the palaces. These French lifts were called flying chairs.

Otis's Invention At The World's Fair

In the mid 1800's, an inventor named Elisha Otis devised a modern version of the earlier hoist and lift. He crafted a safe elevator for humans and displayed it for the world to see at the 1853 World's Fair. Otis was born on a farm in Vermont in 1811. Although he was born to farmers, he was drawn to blacksmithing and began to invent mechanisms. Before inventing the famous elevator, Otis built other machines such as a hoisting device that sped the moving of beds up and down in a bed factory. After his inventions took off, he and his sons began the first elevator manufacturer and repair business. It was called the Otis Elevator Company and is still known today.

New York Home To Elevator's Use

Elevators are to New York as corn is to Iowa. In 1850, the first steam powered hoist was installed in a New York City building and in 1857, one of Otis's inventions became the first to be installed in a commercial establishment - a department store. In earlier human lifts, these devices were run by operators who would ask "what floor?" and do the button pushing. Modern skyscrapers around the world have powerful and rapid electronic elevators that can carry passengers as fast as 1,800 feet each minute. The normal rate of speed for lifts is about one-quarter of the skyscraper speeds. Because these devices are computerized, they are known for accuracy, precision, safety and speed.

Today, the modern elevator company has a staff that consists of engineers, technicians and service personnel. These devices are designed for functionality, safety and appearance. Engineers work together with architects to create a lift that aligns with the simple, ornate or somewhere-in-between architectural design scheme of a building.

Article Tags: Elevator Company, These Devices

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