Sunday, 19 October 2014

Lift - The Marvelous Discovery

Roller Coaster
Wikimedia Commons by Vicreate
The Roman engineer Vitruvius Polio used the pulleys for the first time in 26 BC, to lift the material for the construction of buildings. He used a platform for the purpose, which moved up and down on the wheel- pulley arrangement. That is how the high rise buildings were constructed at that time in Rome. These platforms lifted heavy materials and were moved by beasts and men.

Then about 1800 years later such lifts began moving with steam energy. But all these lifts were used to carry the goods only. They were considered to be dangerous for lifting the man. That is why only the churches or temples were the highest buildings constructed till the middle of 19th century. Because there were two major problems, the first was to lift the material above 4 stories, and the second was the need of a strong support base. Besides the people were not desirous to live in skyscrapers.

It is said that the French Emperor Louis XV in 1743, had a moving chair outside his room, on which he used to go upstairs to the room of the queen. This lift is considered to be the first lift of the world.

But in 1848 the problem of building material and stairs was solved, when the solid structures of steel girders and cast iron came into being. Then in 1857, Ilia Otis used the same lift for a departmental store in New York, which he had already displayed three years ago in New York trade fair. This lift used steam energy but it moved very slowly. 

Then the Otis Company, first of all used an electric lift in 1899. Thereafter the lift underwent several improvements. In 1894 the life began moving by a click of a button and its speed too improved drastically. In 1903 the counterweight system in lift was developed. Otis sold his first lift for $ 300.

The modern lift automatically moves up and down and the doors too are automatic. These lifts balance the weight with pulleys and cable and are computerized too. In 1948 the lift became fully automatic. Now the lifts travel at a speed more than 500 meter per minute. The skyscrapers could not be imagined without a lift. 

The transparent lift made of glass was first used in Eiffel tower in France. Presently the lift is also used in ships, dams and rockets etc.