www.pdhonline.com - Your Gateway to Lifelong Learning   |   Email: PDHonline@Gmail.com   
 
Current
Price
Course
Number
PDH Online Course Description PDH Units/
Learning Units (Hours)
Buy
Course
Take
Quiz
$299

Buy Now

View Course

View or Take Quiz

add_to_cart

save_for_later
M541
Going Up! Going Down! A History of the Otis Elevator Company

Jeffrey Syken

When you hear the word “Otis,” the nearly universal thought that comes to mind is “Elevator” (since the two words have been so intimately associated with one another for a very long time). There’s a common misconception that goes along with this word association: Elisha Graves Otis – the founder of the company, invented the elevator that, along with the “cage frame,” made the Skyscraper possible. Truth be told, the elevator and the cage frame were, indeed, the two technologies that came together in the late 19th Century starting forevermore the “Race for the Sky,” but E.G. Otis did not invent the elevator nor did he invent its derivative – the escalator.

The story of vertical transportation goes as far back as ancient Greece, where Archimedes is credited with having invented the first device for lifting a load from one level to another. Advances continued up to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, but there persisted one vexing problem: Safety. This is where Elisha Otis enters into the story of the elevator. Otis – a “Master Mechanic” at a Yonkers, N.Y. bed factory, was assigned the task of making a “lift” to hoist heavy bed frames. Aware of the ever-present danger of the hoist-rope breaking with deadly result, Otis invented a simple, but effective “Improved Hoisting Apparatus” which included a spring-loaded brake (it would automatically engage should the rope fail – an all too likely scenario). Thus was born the “Safety Elevator.”

Henceforth, elevators could be used for people (instead of just freight, as in the past). Otis began manufacturing his safety elevator in the defunct bed factory and with his death in 1861, his two very capable sons took over and grew the company into a multi-million dollar business. Thus, the Vertical Transportation Industry was born. Elevator technology improved steadily and Otis expanded into several other related fields of manufacturing, but at its core was/is the elevator and escalator. Today, the Otis Elevator Company is a division of United Technologies Corporation with a worldwide presence. It is the quintessential “Multinational” corporation; with over sixty thousand employees and operations in two hundred-plus countries. It’s hard to imagine a company that has had more influence on the very industry it created, and continues to do so.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.


View Course Content

NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.

AIA Members: You must take the courses listed under the category "AIA/CES Registered Courses" if you want us to report your Learning Units (LUs) to AIA/CES. If you take courses not registered with AIA/CES, you need to report the earned Learning Units (not qualified for HSW credits) using Self Report Form provided by AIA/CES.

12