The need for elevators has existed for longer than you might think. In 236 B.C., the Greek mathematician Archimedes designed a rudimentary elevator using ropes and a rotating spindle called a capstan. The Romans used a hauling device called a winch and counterweights to lift gladiators and animals up to the arena for battle.
The modern elevator had its beginnings in the early 1800s, and by 1853, American industrialist Elisha Graves Otis introduced something spectacular at the New York Crystal Palace exposition: an elevator with a safety feature that broke the cab’s fall in case the ropes broke, a common problem at the time. Four years later, the first passenger elevator was ready for use at a department store in New York City.
Scroll below to see some of the most stunning modern elevators around the world.
AquaDom, Berlin, Germany
Bailong Elevator, Zhangjiajie, China
Hammetschwand Elevator, Ennetbürgen, Switzerland
SkyView Elevator, Stockholm, Sweden
Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri
Eiffel Tower Lift, Paris, France
Louvre Lift, Paris, France
Elevador Lacerda, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Santa Justa Lift, Lisbon, Portugal