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Many mistakenly think OTIS invented the elevator, but he really invented an Elevator brake system.


From about the middle of the 19th century, elevators were powered, often steam-operated, and were used for transporting materials in factories, mines, and warehouses.


In 1823, two architects named Burton and Homer built an “ascending room,” as they called it. This crude elevator was used to lift paying tourists to a platform for a panoramic view of London.


In 1835, architects Frost and Stuart built the “Teagle,” a belt-driven, counter-weighted and steam-driven lift was developed in England.

A control cable in the car operated a belt-shifter to change travel direction. A hand brake is in evidence. This basic system remained the principle for lifts for over 50 years.

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