The first reference to an elevator is in the works of the Roman architect Vitruvius, who reported thatArchimedes (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC) built his first elevator probably in 236 BC. In some literary sources of later historical periods, elevators were mentioned as cabs on a hemp rope and powered by hand or by animals. It is supposed that elevators of this type were installed in the Sinaimonastery of Egypt.
In 1000, the Book of Secrets by Ibn Khalaf al-Muradi in Islamic Spain described the use of an elevator-like lifting device, in order to raise a large battering ram to destroy a fortress. In the 17th century the prototypes of elevators were located in the palace buildings of England and France.
The ancient and medieval elevators used the drive system based on hoist. The invention of another system. based on the screw drive, was perhaps the most important step in elevator technology since ancient times, which finally led to the creation of modern passenger elevators. The first screw drive elevator was built by Ivan Kulibin and installed in Winter Palace in 1793, while several years later another Kulibin's elevator was installed in Arkhangelskoye near Moscow. In 1823, an "ascending room" made its debut in London. In the middle 1800s, there were many types of crude elevators that carried freight. Most of them ran hydraulically. The first hydraulic elevators used a plunger below the car to raise or lower the elevator. A pump applied water pressure to a plunger, or steel column, inside a vertical cylinder. Increasing the pressure caused the elevator to ascend. The elevator also used a system of counter-balancing so that the plunger did not have to lift the entire weight of the elevator and its load. The plunger, however, was not practical for tall buildings, because it required a pit as deep below the building as the building was tall. Later a rope-geared elevator with multiple pulleys was developed.
Henry Waterman of New York is...