CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 7. . . .October 19, 2012
Going up! Elisha Otis's Trip to the Top is part of the "Great Idea" series from Tundra, books about inventions that changed the modern world. Other books in the series deal with the ideas of George Eastman of photography fame (It's a Snap! George Eastman's First Photograph), Elijah McCoy (All Aboard! Elijah McCoy's Steam Engine) and Margaret Knight, who was called by some "the female Edison" and the person who came up with the square bottom for the paper bag (In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up).
Elisha Otis was a farm boy from New York State who was always fascinated by the way things worked, including the device used to move hay up into a barn's loft. After leaving the farm, he held a variety of jobs from working in a grist mill to a bed factory where he thought of making an early lathe for turning wooden rails faster.
It was as the manager of a factory in Yonkers that Otis recognized the need to safely move machinery from one level to another, and this recognition resulted in his developing an open freight elevator with a safety brake.
Ellen Heaney is Head, Children's Services, New Westminster Public Library, New Westminster, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.