The Escalator

By Kaitlyn Gramata 6A

The Orginial Inventor

Nathan Ames was born November 17th, 1826 in Roxbury, New Hampshire. Nathan, who held the first patent in the United States for an escalator-like machine. It was called the revolving stairs. The escalator had steps mounted on a continuous belt or chain.
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The Timeline

  • 1859 Nathan Ames of Saugus, Massachusetts patents Revolving Stairs 25,076 issued March 9, 1859
  • 1891 Jesse Reno invents escalator-type elevator apparatus. Files January 2, for patent 1891 George A. Wheeler invents escalator-type apparatus. Files March 5, for patent 1892 Reno of New York, New York patents Endless Conveyer or Elevator 470,918 issued March 15,
  • 1892 George A. Wheeler of New York, New York patents Elevator 479,864 issued August 2,
  • 1896 Reno installed his version of an escalator at the Old Iron Pier at Coney Island in New York City
  • 1896 Charles D. Seeberger invents escalator-type elevator apparatus. Files May 19, for patent 1897 George A. Wheeler invents escalator-type elevator improvements. Files April 18, for patent 1899 Charles D. Seeberger of Chicago, Illinois patents Elevator 617,778 issued January 17, 1899 George A. Wheeler of New York, New York patents Elevator 617,788 issued January 17.
  • 1899 Seeberger buys Wheeler patent and goes to work for Otis Elevator Company 1900 Seeberger registered "Escalator" as a trademark for a moving stairway 1900 Otis's first step-type escalator made for public use, is installed at the Paris Exhibition
  • 1902 Jesse Reno founded the Reno Electric Stairways and Conveyors company 1910 Otis Elevator Company buys Seeberger patent and "Escalator" trademark.
  • 1911 Otis Elevator Company buys Reno patent
  • 1921 Otis engineers, led by David Lindquist, add improvements resulting in today's escalator. escalator, moving stairway, inclined elevator, Nathan Ames, Jesse Reno, George Wheeler, Charles seeberger, David Lindquist, Otis Elevator Company, Invention, history, inventor of, history of, who invented, invention of, fascinating facts.

What does it do, What problem did it solve?

The escalator moves people from one floor to the next. A conveyor transport device for carrying people between floors of a building. The device consists of a motor-driven chain of individually linked steps that move up or down on tracks, allowing the step treads to remain horizontal. Escalators are used around the world to move pedestrian traffic in places where elevators would be impractical. Principal areas of usage include department stores, shopping malls, airports, transit systems, convention centers, hotels, arenas, stadiums, train stations (subways) and public buildings. Escalators have the capacity to move large numbers of people, and they can be placed in the same physical space as a staircase. They have no waiting interval (except during very heavy traffic), they can be used to guide people toward main exits or special exhibits, and they may be weatherproofed for outdoor use. A non-functioning escalator can function as a normal staircase, whereas many other conveyances become useless when they break down.

Life without the escalator

Life without the escalator would cause people's legs to hurt and not want to move around that much, but the escalator improved society which caused people to move around better and more efficiently.

First came the revolving stairs in 1859-1890

Nathan Ames Saugus, Massachusetts patents Revolving Stairs 25,076 issued March 9, 1859

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Escalator 2015

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How does it work?

Escalator steps have two sets of wheels. One set is at the top of each stair, and is pulled by the chains. At the bottom of the step is another set of wheels that runs along a metal pathway (like train tracks). The pathway is sloped between floors, but at the top and bottom of the rise, the track becomes flat before going around and back down, below the floor. When the steps are coming up the slope, each one is higher than the one before, like stairs, but when they reach the level part, they flatten out.

How The Escalator Impacted Me

The Escalator impacted me because we wouldn't be able to get around in the mall faster if we didn't have escalators. The elevators would be full, the stairs would cause too many injuries. The escalators are everywhere so when we use them it makes the shopping trip, or to get around the airport faster.

How The Escalator Impacted the world

It impacted the world because people use it for their everyday life so if they didn't have enough time to do other things, it would be easier to just run, but then others clothes would get ruined, or they would be too sweaty and can't work properly. A lot of people are glad that escalators were made, because of their busy routine during the hours of 7:30 am and 7pm. People also used this as a conveyer belt to move around supplies. This also allowed elderlies to move around without having to hurt themselves more.


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"Nathan P Ames." 1816-1880. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <>.

"Professor Hanington's Speaking of Science: The History of Escalators." Elko Daily Free Press. 2014. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <>.

"Elevator World Unplugged." Elevator World Unplugged. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <>.