There are currently large buildings built worldwide which consist of many floors which would be difficult to access quickly, taking into account their height. For this reason, the elevator has been created , a type of modern machine that can be found in buildings, apartments and even in houses that help to facilitate the transport of people or goods between the floors that make up the building.

What is an elevator?

An elevator is a type of means of transport that moves vertically which is designed and manufactured with the main objective of being able to move things or people between the different levels that may exist within a structure or within a building .

  • Definition
  • What is an elevator for
  • Characteristics
  • Elevator types
  • Story
  • Who invented it
  • Parts of an elevator
  • How does it work
  • Dimensions
  • How much does it cost to put one
  • How it differs from the forklift
  • Examples


The elevator can be defined as a type of vertical box which is installed inside a building in order to move things or people within it, in other words from one floor to another. It is a means of transport made up of a series of electronic , mechanical and technological parts that work together to carry out the mobilization.


What is an elevator for

Elevators are basically a means of transport and in this case, being located within buildings that have many floors, it serves to facilitate the movement of either people or things that need to be taken from one place to another. It is an easy and modern way of being able to transport things without having to use ropes or without having to climb large amounts of stairs as was done in ancient times.


Among the main characteristics that can be observed in an elevator are the following:

  • The elevators have doors type automatic and must be broad to allow entry and exit of large objects such as chairs wheel .
  • Its doors have a set time to stay open, which is generally 20 seconds.
  • Its doors have a detection sensor .
  • They have visual and sound signals .
  • It moves vertically .
  • They have different types of security systems .
  • They have a fully computerized system that indicates speed, braking and acceleration.

Elevator types

The types of elevators that can be found today. According to the model, the following types can be found:

  • Conventional lift : it can be electric or hydraulic and is the one found in most buildings or houses.
  • Single-family elevator : it is widely used where it is not necessary to reach high speeds and when many users are not expected to make use of it.
  • Elevator with reduced pit : used when there is not enough and adequate space to be able to place a conventional elevator. It is one of the most practical lifts that currently exist.

In addition, there are several types of elevators that can be classified depending on their drive, these are the following:

  • Hydraulic lifts : they work by means of a pump that is submerged inside an oil tank which is then introduced under pressure in a cylinder that is attached to the cabin.
  • Electric elevators : they work by means of an electric motor that has a pulley through which steel cables can pass . On one side of the cables is hanging the cabin and on the other side, there is a counterweight that has the function of regulating the load.

History of elevator

Although many may think that elevators are very new mechanisms, the truth is another. The first elevators on record are located in the Greek theater , when an easier way to get on and off the actors who were on the scene was devised . Thanks to the invention of the pulley , it was possible to improve the operation of the elevator, historical data narrate that, in the palace built by Nero after the great fire in Rome, there was a wooden elevator that could slide on the rails and it was driven by the pulleys.

The first elevator that was created in modern times was built by Erhardt Weigel, who invented a type of elevator chair in 1687, which had the ability to move easily and effortlessly. It was an armchair that had capacity for one person and that was placed on the wall, in a series of guides that were several feet in length and that came into operation through the counterweight exerted by the person.

In the Palace of Versailles is the register of the first elevator which had been built for Louis XV , this elevator was easy to use but it was not yet mechanical . The first mechanical-type elevator was built years later in London and had a capacity for 10 people. It was installed in the London Coliseum and was used to contemplate the panorama of the city.

As for public elevators , the first to be built and used was made in New York City , on March 23, 1857 , this was the first device that was designed to be able to raise and lower people which was also powered by a steam engine . In 1889 , the first electric elevator was built .

Who invented lift

The inventor of the elevator is considered to have been Elisha Graves Otis , a mechanic from New York when he founded his company Otis Steam Elevator . His invention also had a safety device that made it possible for the elevator to brake in the event of an emergency fall.

Parts of an elevator

The parts found in an elevator are mentioned below:

  • Control panel : it is the brain of the elevator and is in charge of controlling all the movements that the device makes, including the control of the security systems and lights.
  • Traction system : it is in charge of differences between the hydraulic lifts and the electric ones.
  • Cabin – This is the part in which passengers position themselves to ride the elevator. It is made up of a box, the frame and the chassis . Here is the button panel, which is the control panel where orders are given to the elevator.
  • Safety devices : they are responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers.
  • Speed ​​limiter : it is a system used to regulate the speed at which the elevator moves.
  • Parachute : it is a system of levers that is activated automatically if the elevator exceeds the speed limit.

How does it work

The elevator can be operated and moved vertically by means of a series of fixed rails and by the counterweight . In addition, all the electrical and mechanical parts are necessary which must work together. The electromechanical lift , which is the type most commonly used today, works by a movement that is based on the traction sheave which thanks to the actuated electric motor that is responsible for moving the cables that are attached to the cabin of the elevator .


The cabin of the lift must have at least 1 meter in width and depth 1.25 meters. Your door must have an opening of at least 80 centimeters and the boarding area at the elevator entrance must be a minimum of 1.5 meters in diameter.

How much does it cost to put one

The prices of elevators and their installation vary considerably from country to country as this depends on many different factors. This type of device already installed usually has an approximate price between 40,000 and 70,000 euros , but this will depend on the height of the building and the materials chosen for the construction of the work.

How it differs from the forklift

The main difference between the elevator and the forklift is that the latter cannot transport people as its use is intended only for the transport of goods . Otherwise the elevator , which can carry loads and people . In addition, both also have important differences in speed; the elevator moves at generally 0.7 m / s while the forklift makes from 0.15 to 0.7 m / s.


Some examples of elevators that can be found in the market are:

  • You go out
  • Eleser
  • Fuji electric
  • Inelsa-Zener
  • Schindler
  • Vimec

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