I probably think about elevators more often than the average bear, for the simple fact that we share a loading dock with an elevator company. So, it is a pretty regular thing to see various bits and pieces of elevators and escalators hanging around.
To our question, while it is reported that Archimedes built his first elevator in 236BC, the first ‘modern’ elevator was Henry Waterman’s in 1850. But the thing that really sealed the deal, and opened up the world to the possibility of giant skyscrapers, was the introduction of Elisha Otis’ safety elevator in 1852.
The big development here was that the Otis elevator included a device which prevented the fall of the cab if the cable broke. He demonstrated this at the 1853 World Fair in New York by standing in an elevator while its cable was cut with an axe. That’s salesmanship!
Our photo today is related! That is an empty spool that once held cable, for an elevator! The odd perspective comes from the fact that while the camera has a modern Canon 100mm lens on it, that lens is looking at the spool through a very old Toyo 135mm lens.
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