Timeline 1845 – 1863

  • 1845

    Sir William Thompson designs and patents the first hydraulic crane. This crane was used to handle cargo at Newcastle docks with chains pulleys that allow for a 3: 1 ratio.

  • 1845

    British engineer William M’Naught develops the first multistage steam engine.

  • 1846

    In England, in Derby, the first hydraulic industrial lift operated by water pressure was built to allow the movement of mine personnel.

  • 1847

    The German electric company Siemens and Halske is founded.

  • 1847

    The Frenchman Marchecourt invents the first safety parachute used in the mines.

  • 1850

    To Henry Waterman in New York City is given the invention of the “standing Rope Control” ie the control of the elevator by means of a rope driven by a person in the cabin (or on the floor in the case of hoist), rope that was regulating hydraulic valves

  • 1851

    To remedy the insufficient water pressure of the city water network, Sir William Armstrong develops the first “accumulator” – made with a large diameter vertical piston that supports a huge wrought iron container filled with stones. The weight of the container, loaded on the piston and the weight of the water ensure a constant pressure supply up to 700 psi (47.6 ATM); Water veins pumped in the piston by a pump driven by a steam engine.

  • 1851

    Boston’s George Fox and Company introduces the idea of self-locking worm gears to drive a drum hoist.

  • 1853

    The American Elisha Graves Otis, perfects the cab safety system to prevent the cabin fall in the event of suspension ropes failure.

    Always in the same year Elisha Graves Otis opens a hoist factory.

  • 1854

    Elisha Graves Otis brings a platform with his security system installed, at the New York exhibition in the Crystal Palace, demonstrating the passenger’s safety traveling into elevator.

    The presentation was of great impact and had a media resonance for that time; so wide that led to believe Elisha Grave Otis as the inventor of the elevator, when in reality he had only invented a security system for hoists. The true inventor of the complete lift for Passengers should instead be an homonymous: Otis Tufth. But the New York show event had such an emphasis and resonance to leave the belief that Elisha Otis had invented the elevator.

    [1] Otis Tufts patent n°25061 del 1959; Elisha Graves Otis patent n°31128 del 1861

  • 1856

    William H. Thompson and Eustus P. Morgan patent their “security door for warehouses”, a system of sliding or hinged doors placed in the opening of each floor. These doors heavily reduce the propagation of fire.

  • 1857

    The first lift for public use was installed in the department store of 5 E.V. Haughwout and Company, Broadway New York City; The elevator, made by Elisha Otis is of the belt drive type with steam engine, a speed of 0.2 m / s and the safety system presented at the international exhibition. Unfortunately, the elevator having a cabin without walls, was not appreciated by customers and after three years it was replaced.

  • 1857

    Otis Tufts Installs in a hotel its first lift with endless rack screw and enclosed cabin, operated by a steam engine. The building is the Fifth Avenue Hotel which is also the first hotel that had an elevator. This installation, extremely expensive, is also very safe for the time. The other only successive installation was in the Continental Hotel in Philadelphia. These elevators worked until 1870 and were a great attraction for hotels.

  • 1859

    Nathan Names patents the first escalator, without handrails.

  • 1859

    Otis Tufts patents his own endless screw operated elevator.

  • 1860

    Augusto Stigler founded an engineering company in Milan. The first hydraulic lift was patented and installed in 1981 in the Stigler Tower in Milan. The first Stigler electric lift was installed in 1898.

  • 1860

    The Italian Antonio Pacinotti builds the first dynamo based on the principles of Faraday; This dynamo remained only a non-marketed prototype.

  • 1861

    Elisha Otis patent its hoist with open cabin and parachute security system.

    See hilight

  • 1860-1864

    The five-story Grosvenor Hotel in London’s Victoria Station is the first hotel to install elevators using the city’s water pressure. At the beginning the customers called them “ascending rooms”.

  • 1862

    Otis Brothers (a company founded by Elisha Graves Otis’ sons) developed a new patented lift motor with two steam-powered vertical cylinders located under a crankshaft onto which a pulley is keyed. A belt of this pulley drives the winding drum located on the same plate anchored to the ceiling.

  • 1861-1866

    Otis Tufts abandons improvements on its vertical screw drive and focuses on five new patents aimed at safe lifting with multiple suspension ropes. In particular, it focuses on the equalization of two or more ropes, on the reduction of the bending of the ropes and on the more durable connection inside the drum.

  • 1862

    Cities with major sea ports like New York are starting to have serious space problems for both goods and commercial activities and homes. The buildings on several floors dedicated to different needs begin to increase and it begins to become essential to have elevators to move vertically. This need for space leads to the explosion in the development of civil elevator technology.

  • 1862

    The first funicular is built by the French Molinus and Pronier in Croix-Rousse, Lyon. Its slope was 16 degrees and it covered 466 meters.

  • 1863

    Baker Street Station opens and London becomes the first city to develop an underground (tube) railway.