Elevator History

  Interest Facts About Elevator History

Elevator history is quite interesting. In its simplest form, an elevator is some type of platform that is being pushed or pulled by a simple machine, so it is not much of a stretch to imagine the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians using them as they built their masterpieces.
Long before electricity was a thing, humans looked for a way to work more efficiently. Carrying items up and down stairs and hills slowed down productivity tremendously. The early Greeks used pulleys and winches to improve their workflow. Eventually, humans invented human, water, and animal powered hoists to help get items up and down with ease and less time required.
The Roman architect Vitruvius stated that Archimedes built what was possibly the first- or one of the first- elevators all the way back in 236 B.C. It was a simple machine in which either a human or an animal pulled hemp rope to lift or lower items. All the way up to the 17th century, there were mentions of strange devices that helped lift things, including large battering rams to rush a city or fortress. They were referred to anything from “cabs” to “flying chairs”.
A very interesting part of elevator history is a time when one was used for something besides work. In 1823, architects by the names of Burton and Hormer built what was referred to as an “ascending room” as a tourist attraction. Today, it would be known as a panoramic lift. At the time, it was a glass enclosed room that lifted paying customers high above London so that they could get a good view.
Over numerous centuries, elevators adapted. In the 1800s, these hoists became steam powered and soon the hydraulic elevator was born, being used mostly in European factories. A hydraulic elevator is one that uses both hydraulic power and ropes to move the platform. They are some of the cheapest yet slowest to operate.
In 1880, a German inventor by the name of Werner Von Siemens created the first electric elevator. Only seven years later, these elevators gained automatic doors that make them much safer. In manufacturing, simpler machines are often used. For instance, the bucket and chain conveyor is used for items such as grain. Chains and paddle elevators are used for hay.
The chain conveyor simply moves the object in the direction it should go. When the machine is set up correctly, it also drops the item- grain or hay- in the correct spot. This type of conveyor can be either mechanically or humanly powered. Elevator history is an interesting topic to dive into. Though the platform and power source may change, elevators are still simple machines that can increase productivity and efficiency.