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Lifts are one of humanity’s most useful modern inventions and improve the accessibility and efficiency of our buildings, be these skyscrapers or our homes.

However, there are many things you may not know about lifts, namely the history of this outstanding engineering feat. Here at Axess2, we love lifts, so here we will show you a brief history of the lift, from the first fuelled lifts of the 19th century to the innovative home lifts we have today.

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Fuelled Lifts

During the 19th century, lifts started to be powered by fuel rather than man power. These lifts were often steam-operated, and were used for the transportation of goods and materials in factories, warehouses and mines.

The ‘Ascending Room’ was the invention of two architects, Burton and Hormer, in 1823. This was the name given to a lift that would transport paying customers to a high platform in London, where they could get a panoramic view of the city.

In 1835, another invention by Frost and Stutt brought the ‘Teagle’, which was the name given to a steam-operated lift driven by belts.

Hydraulics and Elisha Otis

Sir William Armstrong introduced his invention, the hydraulic crane, in 1846. This invention paved the way for a new kind of lift technology that would replace the steam-powered versions. Towards the end of the 19th century, hydraulic lifts began to appear, which were powered by water or oil and supported in a heavy structure.

In 1853, an inventor named Elisha Otis demonstrated his own lift, which was equipped with a safety device to prevent falling. In 1857, Otis and his company began manufacturing lifts for passenger use, with the first public elevator being installed in a five-storey department store belonging to E.W. Haughtwhat and Company in Manhattan, New York.

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Electric Lifts

By the end of the 19th century, electrically-powered lifts came into use. The first electric lift was built by German inventor Werner von Siemens, the founder of the well-known electronics company, in 1880. The electric lift was patented by inventor Alexander Miles on 11th October 1887.

Now, lifts are more intuitive and intelligent than ever! We hope you enjoyed our brief history of lifts, one of mankind’s best modern inventions. This journey led us to being able to provide the very best lifts of today, so if you require innovative lift installation, contact Axess2 today by calling 01200 405 005.