Saturday, November 28, 2015

Some Elevator History...!

So many times we don't stop and think of the many so-called " modern" inventions we use on a regular basis. Turns out not all of them are modern at all!

From the folks over at, here is a little history that may just surprise you.

Who invented the elevator?
By Laura Schumm

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 château 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.

Kinda makes you wonder what other inventions are not as modern as we think, doesn't it?

Coffee out on the patio before the cooler weather sets in.


Gorges Smythe said...


JO said...

Human power and they called it an elevator interesting.

34 here this morning so I hope it's warmer on the patio.

Chickenmom said...

Never did like elevators - Don't like being boxed in. But as Gorges said, very interesting!. Today will be the last warm day before the colder weather really settles in. I'll bring the Dunkins!

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
It is, actually.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Jo...
Been around for a long time. It is around 55 on the patio, so that's not too bad.
Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Phyllis...
I think we have some cooler weather moving in as well. Probably bringing rain with it.
Thanks for coming over this morning!

Anonymous said...

I just recently saw a tv program about those lélevators in the Colosseum, otherwise I would never have thought that the elevator was such an old invention.

Have a great day!


Dizzy-Dick said...

There are building (even here in Houston) that are so tall that one elevator can't reach the top, it takes two or more.