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Elisha Graves Otis

Otis, Elisha Graves, 1811–61, American inventor, b. Halifax, Vt. From his invention (1852) of an automatic safety device to prevent the fall of hoisting machinery he developed the first passenger elevator (1857). The invention of the elevator was of great importance to architecture because it permitted the building of skyscrapers.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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