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Elisha Graves Otis

1811 - 1861 Brooke C. McClary Mrs. Henry April 23, 2012

Contents
Elisha Otis as a Young Man .................................................................................................................. 1 Elisha Otis as an explorer ..................................................................................................................... 2 Interesting facts about Elisha Otis .......................................................................................................3 Elisha Otiss awards and why he is famous ......................................................................................... 4 Bibliography .......................................................................................................................................... 5

Elisha Otis as a Young Man


Elisha Graves Otis was born on August 3, 1811 on a farm in Halifax, Vermont. Of the 6 children he was the youngest. He received a common education in his hometown when he was 19 years old. To pursue a number of trades, Otis left his familys farm that was successful. At the age of 20, he moved to Troy, New York and worked as a wagon driver. Otis made several attempts at establishing businesses in his early years. However, chronically poor health led to continual financial woes. Otis married Susan A. Houghton in 1834. Together, they had 2 sons, Charles and Norton, that formed a company, built on his heritage, Otis Brother & Company after his death. He started his own operation, in this case a small gristmill, by saving enough money. He moved to Albany, New York in 1845. During this time broke up with Susan and married Elizabeth Boyd. He worked as master mechanic at a bedstead factory and invented an automatic lathe at O. Tingley & Company.

(Finder, 2007)

Elisha Otis as an explorer


When Otis was 41 years old, in 1852, he relocated to Yonkers, New York to work for Maize & Burns, a bedstead firm to supervise the installation of machinery in a new factory, where he made some improvements to the elevator. The owner of Maize & Burns, Josiah Maize, encouraged Otis to start designing elevators. Maize had a need to lift heavy equipment to the upper floor of his factory. During the same year, he invented the safety elevator while building an elevator for the factory. When he was in New York he showed the improvements and applied for a patient on the device. This device kept the car from falling if the lift cable or rope broke which made his crucial innovation a success and increased the publics confidence in elevators. In 1853, at the age of 42, he sold a few hoisting freights where he set up a small elevator company in Yonkers, New York to make safe elevators. To increase his sales, Otis displayed his elevator at an exhibition in Crystal Palace in New York City in 1854 by riding a cab high above viewers and then having the cable cut. By doing this, it attracted attention up to 1857 where a department store in New York installed Otiss first passenger safely elevator. He did not actually invent the first elevator, he did invent the brake used in modern elevators, and his brakes made skyscrapers a practical reality. In 1861, he received patent for improvements to hoisting apparatus, safety brake. Before his death, he patented other devices such as a steam powered elevator, steam plow, a bake oven, and brakes for railroad cars. Www.about.com says Londons Grosvenor Hotel opened at Victoria Station in 1861 and was the first hotel in London to install elevators for the convenience of guests as well as for handling their luggage. Elevators were initially known as the "ascending room." The word lift or elevator was in general use by the 1860s.

Interesting facts about Elisha Otis


At the Worlds Fair in Crystal Palace exposition in New York City, Otis gave his first performance of his elevator brake. The invention he did affected the whole world because it made it safer ride.

He died at a young age of 50 from poor health since his youth. He invented a railway safety brake, rail turners for speeding the making of rails for fourposter beds, and an improved turbine wheel.

Today, the Otis Elevator Company is the world's largest company in the manufacture and service of elevators, escalators, moving walks and people-moving equipment.

Elisha Otiss awards and why he is famous


Elisha Otis is famous not for being the first to invent elevators, but the first to invent the safety brake which made elevators safer. He also invented the railway safety brake, wagons, and carriages. Today, the Otis Elevator Company is the world's largest company in the manufacture and service of elevators, escalators, moving walks and people-moving equipment. Www.ideafinder.com states, In 1898 overseas business had added to the company's growth, and Otis Brothers merged with 14 other elevator entities to form the Otis Elevator Company. In 1903 Otis introduced the design that would become the "backbone" of the elevator industry. The gearless traction electric elevator, engineered and proven to outlast the building itself. This ushered in the age of high-rise structures, ultimately including New York's Empire State Building, Chicago's John Hancock Center, and Toronto's CN Tower. Otis is part of United Technologies Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and world leader in the building systems and aerospace industries. With 1.7 million Otis elevators and 110,000 escalators in operation, Otis touches the lives of people in more than 200 countries around the world.

Otis won an award in Europe was the worlds record which affected the entire world. He made much needed improvements to the elevator.

Bibliography
Dr. Lee Gray. (2012). The Elevator Museum. Retrieved 2012, from http://www.theelevatormuseum.org. Finder, T. G. (2007, 26 March). Fascinating facts about Elisha Otis. (The Great Idea Finder) Retrieved March 2012, from The Great Idea Finder: http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventors/otis.htm Sokal, M. M. (2007). Encyclopdia Britannica (Vol. 32). Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc. "Elisha Graves Otis." World of Invention. Gale, 2006. Gale Biography in Context. Web. 23 Mar. 2012