Otis invented two things which made him famous. Many
people think that he invented the elevator, but the
truth is, he invented the elevator brake. He also
invented the railway safety brake.
In early life his
health was very poor. He tried to start several
businesses but health problems kept him from being
successful. Finally in 1845 he moved to New York and
became a master mechanic. He worked at a bedstead
factory of O. Tingley & Company. There he invented
a railway safety brake that could be controlled by an
In 1852 a company
named Maize & Burns had a problem. Josiah Maize
wanted to hoist heavy equipment up to the top floor.
They needed to make sure that the equipment wouldn't
fall. Otis figured out what to do and it worked
perfectly. He had invented the elevator
In 1854 he
presented a demonstration of the elevator brake at the
Crystal Palace Exposition in New York. The brake once
again worked perfectly. This safety device changed the
face of the globe by making things move up and down
easily. This helped make skyscrapers a
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