If you can believe it, the first elevators were created way way back in Egyptian times. They weren’t the elevators you see today however; they were more platforms that were raised by men heaving on hoisting ropes. The kind of lift we know today didn’t come onto manufacture until much much later, the 17th century to be exact. They couldn’t take passengers because the cars were hoisted by rope still and often wore down quickly, snapping. Therefore, they weren’t safe for people to travel in, meaning they were used for cargo and produce. In 1852 Elisha Graves Otis revolutionised elevator design and made it safe for human passengers, thanks to his safety break invention. He made it so that if the ropes snapped, a spring would force the mechanism to stop and hold position using pressure.
This incredible step in the development of the elevator made it possible for people to travel to different floors of a building, allowing for the building of a five storey department store in New York in 1857. Further to this, Otis’ creation made the skyscraper possible too. Elevators powered by hydraulics became popular in 1878, becoming widely used across Europe and America. After that, electrics and DC motors were starting to be used for the mechanisms of elevators and the industry changed rapidly, ending up with the elevators we know and use in our daily lives in 2016.
No matter what the design or how advanced the technology, lift maintenance needs change as the industry grows and developments are introduced to the way they are designed, constructed and put to use. Traditional lifts will be serviced a lot differently to the way the newer, more modern lifts which travel sideways as well as up for example. Elevators which travel across thirty floors will also require different levels of maintenance, due to the stresses and strains on the mechanism, as opposed to those lifts servicing say four floors. Here at Elevators Ltd we make sure that safety is paramount and that the day to day operation runs as smoothly as possible.