Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 23

Elisha (Graves) Otis

factory patented rope

Inventor, born in Halifax, Vermont, USA. A master mechanic in a bedstead factory, he was put in charge of the construction of a new factory at Yonkers, NY. There he designed a spring-operated safety device which would hold lifting platforms securely if there was any failure of tension in the rope (1852). He opened a shop, patented his ‘elevator’, and exhibited it dramatically in a rope-cutting incident at an Exposition in New York City in 1854, after which orders came in rapidly for passenger as well as goods lifts. He also patented a new type of steam-powered lift in 1861.

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