Nathan Ames was the first to patent a “escalator-like machine” in 1859. He had the idea for a “revolving staircase.” However, he never made the concept, but we can say that Nathan Ames was the escalator inventor. 30 years later (1889), Leamon Souder patented 4 separate ideas for devices such as escalators. Like Nathan Ames’s, though, Leamon Souder once created working models of each of his ideas.
Finally, in 1892, Jesse W. Reno patented the “Endless Conveyor or Escalator.” He also produced the first working escalator. He called it the “tilt elevator” and installed it along the Old Iron Pier on Coney Island in New York City in 1896. Much later, George A. Wheeler patented his own idea for the escalator. He never built any working model of his ideas, but Charles Seeberger bought a patent & some of the “Wheeler” ideas were used in Seeberger’s prototype escalator built by the Elevator company called Otis in 1899. various locations. Perhaps one of the most impressive escalator systems in the world is the “Central-Mid-Levels” escalator in Hong Kong. This outdoor escalator system is the longest in the world with a total length of 800 meters!
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Nathan Ames was the one who came up with the idea of the “escalator” in 1859. His design had little detail and descriptions, like his other inventions. Because of this reason, his idea was discarded when he passed away in 1865.
After Nathan Ames died and several scientists and engineers looked through this ‘Moving Staircase’, an amateur scientist, Leamon Souder. Leamon looked back at Nathan’s creation before developing them further. He changed it from wood to steel or aluminum and created a name for the machine, The Stairway.
Jesse Wilford Reno
Leamon Souder developed the creation but he never built the first escalator. It was Jesso Reno who had accomplished this achievement. He called it the ‘Inclined Elevator’ and it was first used as an amusement ride at Coney Island.
The escalator Jesse Reno made is rather different from the escalators we use today. Charles Seeberger is the one recognised as the inventor to design the closest escalator to today’s. He also produced the first step-up escalator and this escalator was for public use. Charles also worked with a company, Otis Elevator Company, when he made these wonderful achievements.
Sources: PinterPandai, Thought.Co, Google Patent, Popular Mechanics
Photo credit: Jimmy McIntyre – Editor HDR One Magazine (Flickr) / Wikimedia Commons