Home improvement

3 Fun Facts About Elevators

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Elevators are a wonder of modern engineering. They’re an indispensable part of getting us places, from towering skyscrapers to wheelchair-accessible two-story buildings. Here are a few interesting facts about these creative contraptions.

  1. They Require Special Repairman

Did you know you can make an entire career just performing elevator repair DC? An elevator mechanic helps to install, fix and maintain many kinds of lifts, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. Many mechanics only specialize in one area (such as repair) in order to hone their skills most effectively.

  1. They Have a Long History

The first elevator-like lifts we know of were used in the Roman Colosseum to transport animals. These lifts were powered by a team of up to eight men and could carry up to six hundred pounds about two stories up in the air. Later, elevator-like machines were installed in a few palaces in the 1600s. Steam-powered elevators emerged as a more commonly used machine to transport materials such as coal and lumber during the mid-19th century. Passenger elevators followed around the same time, although they were mostly a novelty until safety features came onto the scene a few years later.

  1. They’re Incredibly Safe

Elevators have a multitude of safety features, including multiple types of brakes (usually two or three), several cables (two to eight, generally) and counterweights which slow the elevator car’s movement in case of brake failure. Interestingly, if the brakes all failed on a fully-loaded elevator, the counterweights would cause the car to slowly accelerate downward; if the brakes failed on an elevator with only one passenger, it would slowly accelerate upward. In either case, it would still stop safely (albeit abruptly) at either end of the shaft.

Elevators are more than just convenient: they’re brilliantly engineering and full of history. The next time you step into one, you can be assured that you’re in a safe, incredible piece of machinery.