Thursday, April 24, 2014

Some Elevator History...!

I reckon that most of us have ridden in an elevator, but have you ever wondered about who invented them? The answer just might surprise ya!

What we might consider to be a modern invention really isn't new at all! In fact, the elevator goes back a lot further than you would believe!

APRIL 23, 2014
Who invented the elevator?

Although elevators may seem like a modern invention, devices used to transport people or goods vertically have been around for thousands of years. According to the writings of Vitruvius, the Greek mathematician Archimedes created a primitive elevator in 236 B.C. that was operated by hoisting ropes wound around a drum and rotated by manpower applied to a capstan. In ancient Rome, a subterranean complex of rooms, animal pens and tunnels stood beneath the Colosseum. At various intervals, elevators powered by hundreds of men using winches and counterweights brought gladiators and large animals up through vertical shafts into the arena for battle.

In 1743, Louis XV had what was referred to as a “flying chair” built to allow one of his mistresses to access her quarters on the third floor of the Palace of Versailles. Similarly, a “flying table” in his retreat ch√Ęteau de Choisy allowed the king and his private guests to dine without intrusion from the servants. At the sound of a bell, a table would rise from the kitchen below into the dining room with an elaborate meal, including all of the necessary accoutrements.

By the mid-19th century, elevators powered by steam or water were available for sale, but the ropes they relied upon could be worn out or destroyed and were not, therefore, generally trusted for passenger travel. However, in 1852, Elisha Graves Otis invented a safety break that revolutionized the vertical transport industry. In the event that an elevator’s hoisting rope broke, a spring would operate pawls on the car, forcing them into position with racks at the sides of the shaft and suspending the car in place. Installed in a five-story department store in New York City in 1857, Otis’ first commercial passenger elevator soon changed the world’s skyline, making skyscrapers a practical reality and turning the most valuable real estate on its head—from the first floor to the penthouse.

Who would have thought that the elevator went that far back? I sure didn't! Guess our ancestors were a lot smarter than we thought they were! That's a good thing!

Coffee outside this morning. I have some apple pie that I'll share!


Practical Parsimony said...

I was guessing Otis for the safety elevator and I had heard about the Coliseum, but the others were news to me. A flying table? I will have to look that one up. Apple pie? You always make me so

Chickenmom said...

I don't like elevators - too confining for me! When the kid were little, we went to the WTC and had to take them - not fun at all! (but the view from the top was spectacular!)
Love your apple pie!

linda m said...

I knew elevators have been around for a long time , just not that long. So glad they invented the "safety" brake. They do make "views" available to us that would be impossible otherwise. Thank you, I'll have a slice of apple pie . Cold and raining here.

Rob said...

I had just read the book "Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day" & all the talk of slaves (like the ones who powered the elevators in the Colosseum) in Rome got me curious.
30-40% of the people in Rome were slaves.

Apple pie is good anytime, thanks!

JO said...

Pretty interesting. Like the others I didn't think they would have been around that long.

Rob the book sounds interesting may have to look it up.

Don't mind the patio or the apple pie. Yum

Dizzy-Dick said...

Man has always been intelligent but the more that is invented or dreamed up the more of a foundation there is to build from.

HermitJim said...

Hey P.P....
Always good to find out new things, right?

I appreciate the visit today!

Hey Phyllis...
Many people don't care for the elevator at all. My cousin is that way!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Linda M...
I think the safety brake was the most important part of the invention. Wouldn't ride without one!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Rob...
I had no idea that so many slaves were in Rome!

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Jo...
Always a surprise here at the Hermit's. I'm saving you some pie!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by this morning!

Hey Dizzy...
Doesn't seem as though we will ever get tired of dreaming up new ideas, does it? Guess that's a good thing!

Thanks for coming by this morning!