Also called a lift (UK), a machine for raising and lowering
passengers and freight from one level to another inside or outside buildings.
Early elevators were driven by steam or hydraulic power. The first elevator
was installed (1856) in a New York store by Elisha Otis, who had invented
a safety system that incorporated rachets along the elevator shaft to ensure
the body of the elevator could not drop accidentally. In 1889 the first
electric elevator was installed in a New York building.