Interesting facts about the escalator

Posted on Mar 12, 2022      101

Interesting facts about the escalator

The inventor of the escalator was American Nathan Ames, who received a patent for a “continuous stairway” in 1859. But Ames did not have time to put his invention into mass production. A year later, he died. And the world’s first escalator was installed only in 1894 in New York City’s Coney Island Park. The moving walkways had no steps and were called “Renault inclined elevator”, because it was made according to the project of American D. Renault. He also received a patent for his invention in 1892. The escalator in a New York City park entertained tourists.

For the World’s Fair in Paris, which was held in 1900, the escalator was made by Charles Seeberger and the Otis Company. By the way, it was Seeberger who coined the name “escalator”, which means “assault ladder” in French. Shortly after the Paris show, Otis installed an escalator in the Gimbel store in Philadelphia. The escalator remained in service until 1938.

During the first two decades, over 300 escalators were installed in the world, mostly in department stores and institutions. Only since 1911, escalators were used in subway metro stations. The first city was London. The moving stairs caused a genuine delight among Londoners. Newspapers of the time wrote that many citizens visit the subway just to take a ride on the “miracle stairs”. The escalators still had no steps; they only gained their modern look in 1921.

The longest escalator in the world was built in 1994 in Hong Kong. Its length is 800 meters. With the help of this escalator, passengers can move along the stores, cafes, restaurants, get from home to work and back. Tens of thousands of people use the escalator every day.

The smallest escalator is installed in one of the shopping centers in Kawasaki City in Japan. The height of the “tiny” is only 80 centimeters. Of course, such a distance can be covered on foot, but visitors to the mall can not deny themselves the pleasure of using the services of such an attraction. Therefore, the escalator does not stand idle.

The oldest working escalator has been carrying customers at the Macy’s Herald Square Mall in New York City for almost a century, since 1927. The steps are wooden, and the whole appearance differs significantly from the escalators of the XXI century. Although the “veteran” regularly needs repair while it will not be sent to a well-deserved rest.

The first underwater escalator in the world was manufactured in Taiwan. Using it, visitors to the Farglory Ocean Park in Taiwan can take a tour, watching how huge sharks, rays and other ocean inhabitants swim in proximity.

Escalators have several advantages over the elevator and cable car. For example, passengers do not have to wait for the cabin, as escalators have a higher capacity. And if the escalator breaks down, it can be used as a normal staircase.

But despite all the conveniences, the escalator can pose many dangers. For example, in 1982 in Moscow at the subway station “Aviamotornaya” tragedy occurred. It happened on the evening of February 17. It was the end of the workday, so there were a lot of passengers on the metro. Suddenly, one escalator sped up over two times. People were losing their balance and falling down. A crush began. It was not customary to report such tragedies. Therefore, the exact number of the victims is unknown. In different sources, they call from 8 to 30 victims of the catastrophe.

The Englishman Peter Hilders in his youth was a famous runner on the distance of 110 meters with hurdles. He took part in the Olympics three times and was a bronze medalist at the European Championships. And in 2008, the 80-year-old track and field veteran was arrested at a supermarket for running down an escalator. Hilders himself explained it was a great way to keep fit. But supermarket managers reminded Hilders he could get hurt. Plus, the former athlete is setting a poor example for children.