When elevators first came into civilization, they were powered by animals, water, or even humans. In 1853, American inventor Elisha Otis showed the world a safe machine powered elevator. He demonstrated to the public the break system he had made that would stop the elevator car if a cable broke. Although his demonstration was considered successful, in the beginning, only men were allowed on elevators due to safety concerns.
The Otis Company started manufacturing elevators in 1861 that were steam powered. The electric elevator came into use towards the end of the 19th century. German inventor Werner von Siemens in 1880 built the first one. To this day, elevators are electric. Many improvements have been made to the elevator specifically in concern to speed and safety. Today’s elevators can travel up to 25 mph and some can even hold up to 60 people! With skyscrapers growing taller each year, elevators will have to keep up.
Where are elevators in skyscrapers placed?
The most popular design for the placement of elevators is in the center or core of a building. This is to leave more space for windows and to make it easiest for the greatest amount of people to access them.
The elevator systems being designed for the buildings today and for the future divide the building into sections. As seen in the former World Trade Center Towers in New York, there were three sections of elevators. These three sections of elevator shafts were connected by main service elevators. These large express elevators would bring you to a sky lobby or transaction floor where you board another elevator to get to your destination. This practice is becoming more common because it is very efficient and saves space.
It would take up much more space if all the elevators went all the way through the building. It would also take much longer for a person to get to where they wanted because all the elevators would have to serve all the floors. You could have people going to 30 different floors all in one elevator car, making the ride miserable for the people going to the last couple served floors.
Problems with Elevator Design
One major restricting factor with elevators is human health. Elevators can only go so fast due to human health factors. The human factor also limits the acceleration and stopping ability of elevators.
In addition, engineers must worry about the length of cable, limiting the height of some elevators. The solution for this problem is fairly simple, take away the cables. Doing this would require the engine of the elevator to be attached to the car itself. The advantage to doing this would be that multiple cars could serve on one shaft. This would prevent one car from solely taking up the use of a loading or unloading portal.