Like a lot of other automated machines today, we take the automatic opening and closing of elevator doors for granted. When the elevator was first invented in the mid-19th century, the elevator operator or the passengers themselves had to manually close the doors. The door to the elevator shaft also had to be closed manually. You have probably seen movies where well-groomed elevator operators open and close sliding doors for wealthy patrons. But life in tall buildings was not always that idyllic. Elevator and shaft doors were left open. Unsuspecting passengers would step into the shaft and fall down a number of stories, sometimes to their death. One of the men who made a significant contribution to the automation of elevator doors and the safety of buildings was Alexander Miles, an African-American inventor.
On October 11, 1887, he was awarded U.S. Patent 371,207 for an improved mechanism for opening and closing the doors to the shaft and the elevator:
Read More: 11 | February | 2015 | Elevator World