It is hard to believe that over 100 years ago we couldn’t build skyscrapers because our elevator technology was not advanced enough to support the dozens of floors that they require, and it wasn’t realistic enough to expect people to climb hundreds of stairs in order to reach their destination.

Here at Elevators Ltd, we love how history has paved the way for the range of high quality designs we have at our fingertips today and, in this blog, we are going to go over how elevators have changed over the years…

1910 – 1920

In the early 20th century many buildings were only a few stories tall which meant that elevators did not need to perform particularly well. In fact, having an elevator installed inside a building was an indication of status within a community and its decoration was often the focus.

1920 – 1940

Over time, however, the size of buildings began to increase and as we began to build higher into the sky the need for speed became the ultimate focus of elevator design. Despite this, it was hard to ignore that this design was still relatively simple and whilst the technology for high rise elevators was slowly developing, it would’ve taken a long time to reach high floors in contrast to today.

1940 – 1970

Before the war, you could only expect to find elevators inside public buildings and offices however a post-war surge in affordable housing meant that many designers saw the potential to improve residential developments with smaller effective elevator designs. This created an increase in demand and subsequently caused the current artisanal manufacturing methods to be replaced with modern industrial alternatives.

1970 – 2000

The late 20th century was booming with economic prosperity which meant that the elevator industry was confronted with new competition, however this was a blessing is disguise as it caused designers and manufactures to pay more attention to performance, speed and safety in order to stand out amongst the crowd.


With safety and performance as high as its ever been in the elevator industry the new focus revolves around improving speed and efficiency as well as considering the benefits of brand-new inventions like sideways elevators. Whilst many of these are purely theoretical, the innovations suggest that the future of the elevator industry looks promising.

When it comes to elevators the team here at Elevators Ltd are the ones you want on your side. After all, you can have the most advanced lift on the market at your finger tips but without the integration of lift maintenance into your regular schedule the elevator will suffer greatly over time. If you feel like your elevator could use the keen eye of a member of our team, get in contact today!