Elisha Otis

the inventor of the elevator safety brake


Just imagine that you are trapped in an elevator. It's falling and you are going down like lightning to the ground. What would happen if Elisha Otis didn't invent the elevator safety brake?

Interesting facts about Elisha Otis

~Elisha Otis invented the elevator safety break in the year of 1861.

~ Elisha Otis started to improve elevators because the factory he worked at lifting platforms and they were very dangerous. He was challenged to improve this part of the company.

Life of Elisha Otis

Elisha Otis was born on a farm, near Halifax, Vermont. Elisha Otis was born into a family with 6 other children, In his early years he was a doll maker, wagon driver and a mechanic. After he failed to do all those things. He worked at a Bedstead company called "Maze and Burns" in Albany New York. He also lived in Yonkers, NY and Halifax, Vermont.


Otis made "several attempts" at various businesses in his years. Before Otis invented the elevator brake, he drove wagons, made dolls, and was a mechanic in a factory.

It was while working in this multi-floor factory that Otis was inspired to improve the safety of lifting platforms. Otis was fearful of the lift platforms. In order to ensure both his workers and supplies safety Otis developed his greatest invention the Elevator Brake.

When the bedstead manufacturing company declined Otis took it over and made it into a elevator shop.

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What did it do for the economy?

Mr. Otis soon made his elevator brake into a successful business. "With his safety brake, Otis literally started the elevator industry. His invention enabled buildings – and architects’ imaginations – to climb ever skyward, giving a new and bolder shape to the modern urban skyline." http://www.otis.com/site/us/Pages/OtisHistory.aspx?menuID=6

Today in 2014 about 60,000 people work at the Otis company. Nearly 150 years after he debuted his invention Otis is still the leading elevator company safely serving people in every country throughout the world.

Present Day

The Otis company has grown a lot since the 1800's. Otis Elevators started in a little factory with 7ft ceilings, today, nearly 150 years after he debuted his invention Otis Elevator is the leading elevator company safely serving people in every country throughout the world. Otis Elevator employs 61,000 people in the US, and 53,000 people work worldwide.

Just imagine a world without Elisha Otis' safety break invention. Think of how different our city skylines would look. If it wasn't for Otis the huge skyscrapers we take for granted would never have been a possibility.

A Day In History: Elevator Upgrades by Elisha Otis


My Mom/Amiee

My Dad/Matt

My Grandmother/ Maryanne