Evolution of Safety Gear

John Inglis

Thursday 1st October 1998

Safety gear on lifts has developed over the years into a variety of forms. For the record this paper will trace the evolution of safety gear and the changes brought about due to the increase in speed. The first demonstration of safety gear to prevent free fall was by Elisha Otis at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in New York 1854. The major changes in design have come about due to the dramatic increase in the heights of modern buildings, and now the evolution cycle has started to introduce a new dimension to control lifts moving out of control in the up direction. This paper will not deal with the methods of actuating safety gear due to limited space. The actuating methods will be dealt with in a future paper.

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