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Elisha Otis/ Elevator Brake

His invention paved the way for architects and engineers to build beyond ground level and for people to enjoy the highest places of living and enjoyment.
by

Michael Steeple

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of Elisha Otis/ Elevator Brake

by Michael Steeple
HIST 1301 WS2
Professor DeLeon Elisha Graves Otis 1852- Improvement in
Hoisting Mechanism Elisha Graves Otis
(1811-1861) 1861- The Legacy Continues Considered a model of engineering simplicity, Otis's elevator brake was a safety device that consisted of a used wagon spring that was attached to both the top of the hoist platform and the overhead lifting cable. Otis installed saw-toothed ratchet-bar beams to stop falling hoist platforms. Without his invention, under ordinary circumstances, the spring was kept in place by the pull of the platform's weight, but if the cable broke and the pressure was suddenly released then many would plummet to their death as the big spring snapped open in a jaw-like motion.
“Elisha Otis” Improvement in Hoisting Mechanism. 26 Nov. 2012. 13 Feb. 2013.
http://www.theelevatormuseum.org/e/E-5.htm 1854- The Amazing Elevator Brake In 1854 Otis dramatized his safety device on the floor of the Crystal Palace Exposition in New York. With a large audience on hand, the inventor ascended in an elevator cradled in an open-sided shaft. Halfway up, he had the hoisting cable cut with an axe. The platform held fast. Amazing!
Crawford, M. “Elisha Graves Otis .”ASME. 2012. Web. 13 February 2013. <http://www.asme.org/kb/news---articles/articles/elevators/elisha-graves-otis> Born on a farm near Halifax, Vermont, the youngest of six children, Otis made several attempts at establishing businesses in his early years. Always nagged by illness, Otis died in 1861 at age 49 from diphtheria. This portrait was taken a few years before his death and patent of the elevator brake.

“Elisha Graves Otis” Hall of Fame/Inventor Profile. 12 Oct. 2007. 13 Feb. 2013.<http://www.invent.org/Hall_Of_Fame/115.html> Artifacts from his time periods as well as his invention's legacies. Otis was able to patent his elevator brake in 1861 and less than 20 years later famous skyscrapers started climbing through the clouds.
Goodwin, Jason. Otis: Giving Rise to the Modern City. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2001. Goodwin, Jason. Otis: Giving Rise to the Modern City. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2001. Krasner, Barbara D. "GOING UP?." Cobblestone 30, no. 6 (July 2009): 17. MAS Ultra - School Edition, EBSCOhost (accessed February 13, 2013). Goodwin, Jason. Otis: Giving Rise to the Modern City. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2001.
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