Monday, June 1, 2015
The other day, while riding an escalator, my mind became befogged with questions: Who invented the escalator? When was it invented? How rich did the inventor become from this invention.
As to riches, I drew a blank. But I learned a couple of things from an article by Mary Bellis. Back in 1892, Jesse Reno had come up with an idea for moving stairs. He thought he would use it for fun and in 1895 built a ride at Coney Island which had moving stairs and raised passengers upward at an angle of 25 degrees.
It was Charles Seeberger, however, who came up with the word, "escalator," and he's the one who redesigned the escalator and who, with the Otis Elevator Company built the first commercial escalator in 1899.
Their contraption, which was made of wood, "won first prize at the Paris 1900 Exposition Universelle. Seeberger, in 1910, sold his patent rights to the Otis Elevator Company.
I wonder if he ever regretted that?