Can Your Business Use a Ratchet?
From the Pyramids of Giza across Tower of Babel to medieval towers in Europe there were people who wanted to feel closer to their God. Hence the construction of tall buildings throughout human history.
But there is a significant difference between those structures and the first commercial, lived-in buildings constructed during the Industrial Revolution.
Neither Pyramids of Giza nor medieval towers in Europe were homes to people. Perhaps an occasional member of the clergy would be required to climb these tall structures, but generally speaking, no one actually lived in these tall buildings.
And so it was for many centuries
There was an inverse relationship between tall structures and people living in them. Taller the building, less inhabitable it was.
The tallest buildings that people inhabited and lived in were no more than 5 stories tall.
And so it was until the mid 19th century
Elisha Graves Otis invented the first safety brake for elevators. In the Elevator game, this safety brake is commonly referred to as a Ratchet.
With his invention of a Safety Ratchet, he literally started the elevator industry AND spurred the creation of Skyscrapers.
Sure, there were elevator installations that pre-date Otis, but they didn’t “hook” as they climbed ever skyward so if the system of ropes and pulleys would break, it would spell disaster for the passengers.
It was Otis’ invention -this Ratchet- that spurred the revolution in building construction and made it feasible to build tall structures that people would in fact live and work in.
In 1857, the installation of the first passenger elevator in the Haughwout Department Store in New York City made it possible and practical to construct buildings more than four or five stories tall. Source.
Next time you ride on an elevator, take a look at the insignia inside the “cage”. Chances are, it will say “OTIS”.
Talk about a small little thing –the Ratchet- that changed the course of human history forever.
Can your business use a Ratchet?
Statistically, Otis is the world’s most popular transportation company. According to United Technologies, Otis elevators carry the equivalent of the world’s population every nine days. Source.
Can your business come up with a lever that will lift the entire civilization towards the sky?
Answer that question and you just might end up carrying the equivalent of the world’s population every nine days.