When Were Elevators First Used in Homes?

Freedom Green Home ElevatorsThe first home elevator was installed in North America in 1929. Twenty-five years ago, home elevators became more popular, when people realized they provided exceptional transportation and mobility advantages and increased the value of their homes.

The history of elevators predates 1929. The mid-19th century marked the dawning of the age of electricity, and developments in elevator technology were being driven by the appearance of the first high-rise buildings in the U.S., which necessitated the development of elevators to make them practical. In 1871, the first hydraulic elevators were introduced using water pressure as the source of power. The first commercially successful electric elevator was installed in 1889, and electricity quickly became the accepted source of power.

Elevators in residential buildings reflected the grandeur of the era with chandeliers and velvet couches. Then, elevators became more common, and the models developed for homes were more utilitarian.

Today there arefour main types of residential elevators:

  • Roped Hydraulic Elevators – based on a hydraulic pump connected to a piston and pulley, they are great for homes because they don't require an adjoining machine room.
  • Winding Drum Elevators – based on a revolving winch and counterweight with an electric motor that winds the cable through the drum. Many owners select this model because a machine room is not necessary and it is cheaper than other models.
  • Traction Drive Elevators - seen in the residential spaces on rare occasions. They are much more typically seen in commercial elevator systems.
  • Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators - the newest model on the market, they can be installed quickly at a modest price. The self-supporting vacuum elevatorsare constructed of aluminum and polycarbonate and requires no excavating for a pit or hoistway. They can be fitted to almost any two- or three-story building at a fraction of the cost of normal elevators.

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