then and now

The Escalator

the story behind|the escalator|

In 1892, an inventor named George H. Wheeler started a design for a product he called the "escalator." This design was a moving staircase with handrails on two of it's sides for safety. But, he could not finish it, he needed help from another inventor of his day. So, he sold this idea to Jesse Reno who greatly improved the thought. He added the conveyor belt to help it run smoothly and a grooved grip for a better footing. In 1900, the first operating escalator based on Jesse Reno's design plan was used in a New York train station. Years later in 1922, the Otis Elevator company used this idea to make the modern escalator and it has been a hit ever since.

how does the escalator work?

the structure of the elevator is two chains looped around two pairs of gears. This is powered by an electric motor which turns the chains. Two make the escalator go up at an angle, the conveyor belt goes up a series of steps, which is what you stand on while riding an escalator. At the start and finish of the ride, the steps collapse on each other which keeps the steps level and makes it easier to get on and off. The handrails on each side of the escalator are plainly a rubber belt that is looped around around a series of wheels. This moves at exactly the same speed as the steps so that the rider can have stable balance.

benefits then and today

the escalator provides us with many benefits, and it did back when it was made too! back then, escalators were used in elevated train stations like the one in New York Train Station in 1900. Nowadays, escalators are used anywhere when there are a lot of people that need to be moved up or down at a brisk pace. The escalator also is a benefit in department stores because as people go up they can look down on all the merchandise and the store can "advertise" more. The escalator can hold and transport many people at one time, which is a plus for large environments with many people to move.