Before Industrial Era

The 17th and the 18th centuries went through a new apparition of ideas and needs, and one above all, the transportation of people.
In 1743, the “flying chair”, ordered by Louis XV make its apparition in the Castle of Versailles. It was installed by the french, DE VALAYER in order to carry Madame de Pompadour from its apartment to the apartments of the king.

At first, it was operated by an arm pull, which was really insecure. We have to wait until the 19th century to motorize which will become the elevator and the freight elevator.


The 18th century

In the 18th century, we used the power of the machines to start building elevators.
In 1823, the engineer Briquet made an hydraulic elevator in an English factory.
In 1833, a system using reciprocating rods is used by the minors in the mountains of Harz, in Germany. They were working between 200 and 420 meters deep.
In 1845, a steam lift called “The Teagle” is installed in a English factory.

Winch machines were performing but dangerous, because there was a major problem in case of cable break.


The 19th century, the pioneers

In the early 19th century, there were massives breakthrough in science and technology.
Thanks to that, many companies were created, today, we would call these companies, “start-up”.
In 1830, the first elevator with machinery is installed in Derby, in England. From this moment, many “extraction machines” are spreading across Europe.


Early 19th century

First freight elevator with hydraulic cylinder. The cylinder was filled with water and under its pressure, the cylinder was moving up and was raising the freight elevator.
To go down, they needed to empty the cylinder. This principle is still used today, but now we use oil and it return to a tank.
In 1845, Sir William Thompson introduce the first hydraulic elevator. It is also the apparition of the first freight elevator actioned by steam engines. Later, it was replaced by the electric motor.


The 19th century

In the 19th century, several types of energy were used for the elevator industry, like hydraulic and steam energy.
The steam machine was operating a cable with pulleys. The wheel of the machine was operating a traction system. Men just had to activate a control to raise heavy charges.

The first industrial hydraulic raising was used in 1846 to lift materials, then people.
In 1850, the commercialization of these machines started.
Thanks to that, they could build buildings and factories higher and bigger. And they also could go down deeper to extract materials.

An Otis elevator with his steam engine in 1862.

In 1845, GIBBON is operating an elevator with pressurized air.
In 1846, Sir William ARMSTRONG built and hydraulic elevator.
In 1847, the german branch of Siemens electric and Haslke is created. In 1850, Henry Waterman of New York designed a steam freight elevator.
In 1851, first use of the word “elevator” to carry people, during the “Great Exhibition” of London.
1853, Otis introduce a prototype freight elevator operated by a steam engine, during the exhibition of Crystal Palace, in New York.
In 1857, Otis use steam as a motor force to build an elevator.

This is the end of the second part of the Elevator Story.

The Elevators Online Team, with Michel CHALAUX.