The Evolution of Elevators: From Ancient Times to Modern Skyscrapers

TLDR Elevators have come a long way since ancient times, with the development of steam engines in the 19th century and the invention of the safety elevator by Elijah Otis. Today, elevators are essential in tall buildings and have advanced with features like automatic doors and express elevators.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 There is a category of inventions that have been known forever, but only recently have they become practical and useful in the modern world.
01:35 Elevators were not commonly used for lifting people in ancient times because buildings were not very tall and there was little need to go higher than the ground floor.
02:52 The second problem with elevators was the need for a source of energy to lift people up and down, which was not readily available in buildings until the development of steam engines in the 19th century.
04:12 In 1852, Elijah Otis developed the safety elevator, which prevented elevator cars from falling if the rope was cut, and he went on to start the Otis Elevator Company, the largest elevator company in the world today.
05:38 Otis's safety demonstration led to an increase in elevator sales, including the installation of the first commercial elevator in 1857, which was slow and had a room-like car, and the subsequent innovations of the electric motor, automatic doors, and automated elevators.
07:02 Elevator technology has continued to evolve to accommodate the needs of taller buildings, with techniques such as express elevators and transfers allowing for efficient transportation in ultra-tall skyscrapers.
08:31 Elevators are now one of the safest modes of transportation, with falling down stairs causing more injuries than elevator accidents, and they have been installed in various unique ways in buildings around the world.
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