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This Day in History: NATHAN AMES PATENTS HIS “REVOLVING STAIRS,” NOW KNOWN AS THE ESCALATOR (1859)


Nathan Ames Patents His “Revolving Stairs,” Now Known as the Escalator (1859)

Although no working model of his design was ever built, Ames is credited with patenting the first escalator. His idea for the “revolving stairs” was largely speculative. It was not until the 1890s that the first working escalator—called the “inclined elevator”—was produced, based on another’s designs. It was installed among the amusements at New York’s Coney Island but did not remain a novelty for long. How did shoppers react when Harrods in London debuted its first escalator in 1898? More…Discuss

 

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