How elevators have changed the look of cities. Otis and New York.

Elevators have made a huge contribution to the structure of cities. Although the elevator as a lifting device was invented many centuries ago (the first mention of such a mechanism dates back to the time of Archimedes), then and many years later, this equipment was more like an unsafe freight elevator than what we imagine today when we hear well-known word. The elevator in its modern form came to us thanks to a man named Otis, although it is worth talking about all this in order.

Elevators have played an important role in the structure of cities. It all started in New York. You know how high this city stretches today, but once the buildings did not rise above 6 floors. With the advent of a modern analogue of elevators, a person got the opportunity to build higher. In addition, the elevators made us more social, teaching us to conduct small conversations and greet each other, looking at the door in a closed cabin.

Previously, before the appearance of elevators in houses, the upper floors and attics were considered the dwellings of the poor. And even after the first elevator appeared in New York, it took years to convince tenants to live in the upper reaches. However, today penthouses are the most expensive housing, and people pay extra money for places on the top floors of apartment buildings.

So if we have had elevators since ancient times, then why didn’t we start installing them in houses earlier? The fact is that only in 1854 was a safety mechanism invented that stopped the elevator. We have Elisha Graves Otis to thank for a safe elevator. He subsequently created the Otis Elevator Company in Yonkers. Otis’ “catchers” mechanism prevented the cabin from hitting and breaking the ground when it was lowered.

Despite the widespread opinions, at that time, few paid attention to the invention of Otis, his demonstration was not even particularly mentioned in the press. But already in 1857, the first passenger elevator was installed in the shopping center E. V. Haughwout Building in New York. The building, which still stands at 488-492 Broadway, was only five stories high, but the owner thought the novelty was attracting new customers. He was wrong. Three years later, the elevator was removed because the public refused to use it.

In 1867, hydraulic elevators were demonstrated at the World Exhibition in Paris and they had their advantages over the old rope devices, including speed.  And in 1878, Otis’s safety device was further improved, a speed limiter was developed for safety catchers, which made them work if the speed was exceeded.

Otis began producing passenger elevators in 1857, however, as we said above, it did not immediately become a success. Following an unsuccessful attempt to establish the elevator in 1857, others followed, so in 1870 the first elevator was installed in the eight -story office building and for a decade after that the height became the status of honor and instead of the poor, the rich begins to settle under the roof.

Electric elevators appeared only in 1880 and were invented by the German scientist Werner Siemens and his company Siemens und Halske. Today, electric elevators are an integral part of any high-rise building. They changed the face of cities and made life easier for people. Large elevator companies like Otis, Schindler or Kohe have been incorporating more and more safety and convenience features and systems into their designs since they were founded. First there were security amplifiers, then elevators without an engine room, and so on. For example, in 2007, KOHE invented an elevator not only without an engine room, but also without a counterweight.

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