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Otis Elevator Company: The Latest Architecture and News

With Recent Innovations, Where Will Elevators Take Us Next?

09:30 - 27 May, 2016
With Recent Innovations, Where Will Elevators Take Us Next?

Many technological advancements have changed the way we design in the past 150 years, but perhaps none has had a greater impact than the invention of the passenger elevator. Prior to Elisha Otis’ design for the elevator safety brake in 1853, buildings rarely reached 7 stories. Since then, buildings have only been growing taller and taller. In 2009, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, maxed out at 163 floors (serviced by Otis elevators). Though a century and half separates those milestones, in that time elevator technology has actually changed relatively little - until recently.

A Brief, Interesting History of the Otis Elevator Company

00:00 - 3 April, 2013
A Brief, Interesting History of the Otis Elevator Company, Otis elevators are in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building at 2,722 ft. Image © Emaar properties.
Otis elevators are in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building at 2,722 ft. Image © Emaar properties.

What do the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Kremlin, and the Burj Khalifa have in common? 

Elevators from the Otis Elevator Company. The company, which is celebrating its 160th anniversary today, has an interesting history: it was founded in 1853, the year Elisha Otis invented the elevator safety brake. Before Otis' invention, buildings rarely reached seven stories (elevators were considered just too dangerous to implement).

But it was Otis' elevator that would allow for the creation, and proliferation of, the skyscraper - an explosion that would for ever alter the 20th and 21st century skylines. 

Read more about the Otis Elevators influence on skyscraper design (and how Otis performed a death-defying feat to increase the invention's popularity), after the break...