- Elisha Graves Otis
- 1857/03/23 first
- United States (New York City)
On 23 March 1857 the world's earliest modern 'safety elevator' went into service at the Haughwout Department Store in New York City, USA. It was installed by Elisha Otis and was powered by a steam engine. Otis is widely credited with having advanced the development of the modern skyscraper by allowing buildings above five storeys to become practical for their occupants. Prior to his invention of the safety elevator, lifts were seen as unsafe.