Elevator History


Elevator History Essay, Research Paper

An elevator is a mechanism for moving people and freight from level to level in a building

or any other structure. The first elevator-like structure was built in 236 BC by the

Archimeds. This construction was a hoist operated by ropes and pulleys. However, the

first pragmatic elevator was not developed until the 19th century. Though sensible, this

elevator has been modified many times throughout the course of history and is still

updated with all of the new advancements in math and technology. From the start of the

production of elevators through today, there have been numerous and boundless

improvements made on their structure and how they operate: all due to the advancement

of mathematics and technology.

The first elevator developed was known as a manual elevator. This system of

elevators used relay logic . Relay logic was a simple wiring based on circuits. This type

of elevator did not transfer people from one level to another, only cargo.

The second type of elevators was developed in the 1800s. These elevators were

powered by steam. At first, these elevators were used solely to transport freight in

factories and ore in mines. Unfortunately, these elevators required a safety device to

restrain the elevator from dropping if it s supporting cable broke, and this had not been

invented yet. Eventually, this necessity was discerned and acted upon. In 1852, Elisha

Graves Otis designed the first safety contrivance for elevators. This device was a system

involving spring-operated cams that affianced the guide rails in the elevator shaft when the

cable broke. This secured the elevator from subsiding which enabled steam powered

elevators to be used for transporting people along with cargo. This new use was caused

by the precautions taken in improving the safety of steam powered elevators. It was first

used for people in 1857 in New York s own Haughwout department store. This edifice

was driven by steam power: unlike the manual elevator it had the capability of transporting

people from floor to floor. Though this was a major amplification in the manufacturing of

elevators, technology and mathematics were still improving allowing for even more types

of ameliorated elevators to take the place of those already produced.

As mathematics advanced, the third type of elevators was formulated. This being

the hydraulic elevator was the first practical elevator with semblance to those of today s

time. The concept of hydraulics is somewhat based on Pascal s Law. This stated that

pressure exerted upon a liquid is transmitted in all directions at the same magnitude. This

was theorized sometime in the mid-17th century yet it s capability of advancing and

explaining technology was not fully accredited until the 19th century when hydraulic

elevators were first introduced. Hydraulic elevators were used between 1857 and 1889.

Operated by means of a vertical plunger, this elevator traveled up and down a cylinder

pushing and lowering the car above it. The vertical plunger was reallocated by liquid

under pressure. A hand-driven pump (hydraulic jack) created this pressure. The basic

idea behind any hydraulic system is extraordinarily simple. Any force that is applied at one

point is moved to another point using an incompressible fluid (either oil or water) while

the force is frequently multiplied in the process. The fluid used was most often oil. Oil

was preferred over water because of its shielding and lubricating behavior, and in the case

of mineral oil, its low coherence. Though the popular use of hydraulic elevators ended in

1889, they are still used in prewar buildings. Furthermore, they are presently utilized in

carrying certain heavy masses.

Electrically driven elevators were devised before their initial commercial

application in 1889. This presentation took place in one of New York s finest buildings,

the Demarest. For the first time in all history, an electrically driven elevator was installed

for the utilization of the public. This genre of elevator was operated by an electric motor.

This motor drove a winding drum in the basement of the building. Following this,

significant advancements came about in 1894 and then another in 1895. First, in 1894,

push-button controls were introduced. Like modern elevators, this invention suffered

people to simply push the button of the floor they were going to instead of having to use a

lever to determine the floor (by pushing it left or right for down and the opposite for up).

The second invention (1895) was that of a hoisting apparatus. This device was

ascertained in England. It s purport was to make the move of the cable drum to the top of

the shaft possible, thus leading to higher shafts in taller buildings. This mechanism applied

electric power to a pulley at the top of the shaft. This caused the weight of the car and

counterweights to ensure traction; making its original purpose conceivable. This

progression, along with that of the push-button controls were key introductory elements

for many fabrications to come.

In 1915, eleven years after the push-button controls, the first automatic system of

controlling the elevator s destination was applied. This system was called automatic car

leveling. In this system, the control took over at each floor enabling the elevator to stop

uniformly with the floor level. Soon after, the elevator doors also evolved. Their

upgrading was due to an automatic system as well. However instead of regulating where

the elevator would cease its ascent or descent, this automatic system ingenuously

controlled the opening and closing of the elevator doors at its predetermined floor. With

all of these preferments, elevator manufactures wanted to find a way of taking up less

space while still taking advantage of all that has been accomplished throughout time.

In an attempt to minimize the space taken by elevator shafts in a building, the

double-deck elevator was constructed in 1932. Although this advancement was

innovative and deserving of application, the double-deck elevator was not used extensively

until 1971. This elevator s famous comeback was its installation into Chicago s salient

Time-Life building (1971). By this time, elevators had vastly ameliorated, but

there was still room for improvement.

The next and most recent type of elevator was developed in the 20th century. The

term invariably associated with this elevator is automatic , hence its name (Automatic

Elevator). With this elevator came the introduction of a system called the solid state.

This system works through computer chips that are based on mathematics. The cable

hoisted automatic elevators used today travel up and down in a shaft. On each floor, the

shafts have doors that open within. Above the elevator shaft is a particularly significant

room that controls most of the elevator s function. This room embodies an electric motor

which administrates the important duties of an elevator. This motor controls speed,

stopping, starting, and reversing. The steel cables that uphold the car are looped around a

drum appended to the driving motor. As the capacity in the car increases, the grip that the

cables have on the drum become more taut. The majority of present-day elevators possess

both inner and outer doors. To further the safety of these elevators, they will operate only

if both sets of doors are shut. In nearly all buildings, elevators contain photoelectric

inclinations. These devices are used to keep the doors from closing while passengers are

entering and exiting. These elevators are used all over the world and have proved

themselves to be a phenomenal upgrade in the elevator industry.

From being operated by a manual or steam-powered device, to being lifted by

cables, elevators have proved in their own advancements the notable progress of math and

technology. Based on the facts previously stated, one can observe that elevators have

come impressively far since the idea of a construction to move people and things from one

level to another came about. In a mere 250 years, people have gone from physically

walking up a staircase to being lifted by a mechanical apparatus. Year after year, systems

have been technologically and mathematically amended to produce today s automatic

elevator. With each improvement, whether slight or immense, elevators have become

safer, easier to operate, and quicker. If the present-day elevator was taken apart and

compared to the first (or second) type of elevator, it would be evident what the

progression of mathematics and technology have allowed us to accomplish.

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