HOW ELEVATORS CHANGED THE WORLD

People who work in high-rise offices or live in tall apartments use elevators every day. However, very few probably think about how these machines came into existence and how they’ve influenced the modern day life and transformed the world. Elevators have made so many things possible for us that we take for granted.
    Before the widespread use of elevators, most buildings had maximum six to seven floors and people preferred living close to the ground. The wealthier people lived in the lower floors while the poor ones lived in the higher ones. But what we see today is completely the opposite. The most luxurious apartment buildings are over 50 floors high and where most of the people living belong to upper-middle or elite class.

      History of Elevators

        The first elevator was manufactured by Greek mathematician Archimedes in 236 B.C. King Louis XV of France had a 1-floor elevator in his palace that was known as “flying chair” and operated by pulling down a rope.
          Elevators began gaining popularity in 1800s during the Industrial Revolution. The use of elevators drastically increased during that time due the need for huge amounts of fuel to transport individuals and materials to operate coal mines. The task became easier to due to the use of elevators in mines.
            However, early elevators had several safety risks due to which people were always hesitant of travelling in them. Elisha Otis, founder of the Otis Elevator Company, invented the first safety elevator in 1845. This lift had a safety brake that could stop the elevator from falling even if the cables were cut. By making elevators more reliable and safer to use, it became possible to install them in high-rise, modern buildings.

              Elevators and ‘Upward Mobility’

                Before the elevators become popular, construction companies were limited to building structures where people could comfortably travel between floors using the stairs. If elevators had not become popular and widely adopted, buildings today would not be taller than seven to eight stories. It is the invention of automatic safety brake that made it possible to use elevators in high-rise building, and paved way for modern wonders like the Burj Khalifa.
                  The wide use of elevators didn’t only change the skyline but also had a significant socioeconomic impact. The creation of tall buildings made it possible for the cities to develop. It became possible for a large number of people and families to live in a single building. There are many cities like Shanghai. Tokyo, Delhi, and the Mexico City that have over ten million inhabitants in each. Also, the upper stories of buildings that had to be reached via stairs before, and therefore were less attractive to the wealthier class, are mostly inhabited by the rich today. The people who were living in lower levels of luxury apartment buildings due to easier access have moved up to the top floor which offer less street noise, more light, and better views. It is all due to the increased use of elevators that top floors of buildings that once held servant quarters are the most desirable accommodation today. From then on the modern world of elevators has evolved.

                    Elevators have helped the aged and disabled

                      This is one major benefit that elevators have offered to the world. They have made upper floors of homes and buildings accessible for the elderly and physically disabled individuals. Elevators have given them the opportunity to travel independently and safely between building floors, which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Today, the physically challenged and aged people can freely travel in shopping malls, offices, and other buildings just like young, healthy individuals. With the increasing use of residential elevators, their mobility within their homes has also become much easier.
                        Elevators have had a significant impact on the modern world. But today, when we travel in elevators, we do not give much attention and appreciation to how they have made our lives easier and much more comfortable than before. The only time we pay a little attention to elevators is when either their door remains open for too long or the they’re making weird sounds while operating.