EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Transportation revolution found in elevators

When you think about modes of transportation, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? It’s probably along the lines of cars, planes, buses, and trains. However, one mode of transportation that has had a significant impact on human history, and one that may not come to our minds very quickly, is the elevator. Chances are, almost everyone has taken an elevator at some point in their life. Countless people every day use elevators to go to work, move supplies, construct buildings, and go home. Concepts of the elevators existed for a long time in history, with Archimedes creating a primitive elevator in 236 B.C. However, in 1852, Elisha Graves Otis invented a safety brake that revolutionized the vertical transport industry.

This invention allowed elevators to be used on a large scale and allowed for the transformation of many cities’ skylines. Instead of being limited to constructing buildings of few floors, the elevator allowed workers to move supplies higher up. This allowed buildings to become taller and accelerated the pace of urbanization throughout the world. More people moved to cities as more places became available to live and work in. This also changed the social standard and impacted where people wanted to live. Before elevators, the wealthiest individuals used to live on the first floor while the poor lived on the higher floors due to all the stairs. However, with the invention of the elevator, the higher floors became more valuable, and there was a change in the social standard. Now, individuals living on the higher floors are viewed in a higher status. This space was more valuable because it had easy access due to the elevator, allowed for a greater view of the city, and there was less noise from the city street. Elevators have other uses such as lifting boats, planes, vehicles, freight, and even a stage for an orchestra.

Looking into the future, proposed ideas for elevators can change the way humans interact with the universe. The concept of a space elevator was proposed, and this would allow vehicles to travel along a cable directly into space without the use of large rockets. This proposed idea, if implemented, would change the way humans explore space and would allow a greater understanding of the universe. The idea is that there would be an anchor point on Earth and the other end would be in space, outside the geostationary orbit range. This allows for the competing gravitational forces to keep a cable under tension.

The uses of elevators are essential to modern life today. It allows us to save many stairs, transport items in a vertical direction, and they give great potential for the future. So the next time you take that elevator ride up or down, think about the great effect of the elevator.