The History And Safety Of Elevators

The History Of The Elevator

The elevator, or lift, is a device which has been used for many years in places like malls, offices and hotels.

These passenger elevators provide a convenient way of getting from one floor to another, also helping disabled people get to floors where they would otherwise struggle on steps.

This mechanism has been developed to make travel in places convenient. Passenger lifts are most useful in cases where a building has many levels and walking up a lot of flight of stares will not only be a waste of time, but also a waste of energy.

The technological advancements over the years have benefited industries in all areas, with the elevator industry included.

Where exactly did passenger elevators start and where will they go?

The First Elevators

The first known reference to a passenger lift was found to be spoken about during the period of the  Roman Empire.

Later it was believed that these lifts were installed in Egypt, whereby animals would pull a rope attached to the standing structure.

Later a crane system was developed in order to get people off of the ground, however, as time went on a screw drive was invented as a much more convenient way of moving a passenger lift.

The first passenger lifts of this type were installed around 1790, with the increasing popularity of them being installed in the mid-1800s in Moscow.

In the mid-1800s, Waterman designed the first forklift type mechanism which was able to transport items and individuals.

The interesting thing is that this passenger elevator gave rise to building manufacturers being able to develop taller buildings as there was now a device which could move people faster.

As time went on passenger elevator manufacturers such as an American who invented a jagged system lift, which was a safety invention which allowed for there to be supported if the cable snapped or broke.

This safety feature of passenger lifts saw bigger confidence in using them as the likelihood of major injuries was decreased.

Siyakhula Elevators Johannesburg has taken this approach as well, with their supply, installation and maintenance of their elevators being top-notch and as safe as it can be.

Passenger lifts began to be powered by hydraulic systems which made the need for an active approach to the elevator much less popular.

Electric passenger elevators were first invented in the late 1800s where the elevator cage was above the motor, which moved the mechanism up and down.

As time progressed different versions of electric elevators were developed and adopted.

In the mid-1990s the elevator began to be automatically controlled through switches as well as an increase in parts which made the device far safer.

Passenger lifts then adopted automatic doors as previously people would need to close the doors or gates before using the machine.

Present Day Lifts

Present-day lifts are not only much safer but are also so much more convenient, where there is over one million active lifts in Spain currently working.

Passenger lifts are not only more common to find in our day to day lives, but they also have changed the way that buildings are built.

The passenger elevators we use today is powered through a motor which moves the gears in order to mobilise the lift.

Siyakhula Elevators Johannesburg uses this system, where the cabin, the structure designed in order to hold people, being created to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Size of lifts have also changed where in the past lifts were not typically made to fit too many people, today you can find lifts which fit a whole host of individuals.

Passenger elevators are also very important for services such as hospitals where people need to be moved from one floor to the next in an efficient way.

Lifts need to be big enough to fit gurneys which are transporting people who are in critical condition.

The machine room is found either at the top or bottom of the cabin and is used in order to service and repair the passenger lift so that the entire machine can function safely.

The control box is the system of the passenger elevator which allows it to function at the most optimum level, where pushing a button will activate the controls in order to move from one section to the next.

The Future Of The Elevator

The idea that we are at the top of the mountain in terms of where elevators can be is a huge misconception as advancement in every field is continuous.

Plans for passenger lifts are being created in terms of making it not only move in a vertical manner but so too in a horizontal way.

This changes the way in which we will be using these passenger elevators as transportation is now open to different paths.

Adding to this, the way in which buildings will be able to be built allows architects to feel more free in their approach to building development.

Technology Which Can Change Elevators Forever

Biometric Access

Imagine a world where you approach a passenger lift and it recognises an individual either by face or eyes, it then opens, you step inside and you tell it which floor to go to.

This technology is not far off from becoming a reality, with convenience one of the main factors of passenger lifts.

Natural User Interface

Adding to this, being able to use the lift in a way which uses only your voice or gestures can help those who are disabled to interact with the machine.

Passenger elevators in this world will also be able to get the attention of any technicians if a failure were to happen.

Clean Energy

Using clean energy for passenger lifts in the future will help our environment move to a much more renewable and environmentally friendly space.

As we know the world is in a place where we need to take action in limiting the amount of pollution we are emitting into the air.

Using a passenger lift which is limiting this pollution, with millions being installed all around the globe, will help in the fight to save our planet.

This will also decrease the cost of passenger elevators which means that developing countries will be able to gain access to these types of mechanisms.

Transportation Using Clean Energy

Transportation will not only be faster in passenger lifts but will also impact the height at which buildings can be built.

Faster transportation and bigger buildings will change the earth’s landscape yet again.

The Cloud

Passenger lift manufacturers will in the future be able to connect to the cloud which will allow the system to learn and develop as it is used time in time out.

All of the information based on its trips will be able to better improve the reliability and safety of the system.


Having nanotechnology available to you, especially in systems such as lifts, will allow passenger elevator manufacturers the opportunity to use this technology which can repair and clean the system without the need for a technician.

Now where we aren’t there yet,  Siyakhula Elevators Johannesburg can help in providing you with top-quality passenger lifts, with high-quality installation and repairs.

Ensuring Safety In Elevators

Safety in passenger lifts is very important as although these lifts have allowed for buildings to be built taller, if anything was to happen to the cable of the lift, it would be catastrophic.

Passenger elevator manufacturers are aware that if an elevator were to malfunction or the cable were to break, this would cause unfortunate deaths.

Having said this, passenger elevator manufacturers are also always looking to improve lift safety, while also trying to ensure that there are measures and alternate systems in place to try and help in limiting the chance of an accident.

Passenger lift manufactures need to be knowledgable on electrical engineering in order to best maintain and develop systems which are not going to break down.

On top of this, finding a supplier of passenger lifts, such as Siyakhula Elevators, who is involved in the supply, installation and maintenance process will ensure that the right measures will be taken in order to ensure optimal safety.

The Types Of Safety Systems In Passenger Lifts

Locking Doors

This mechanism makes sure that the elevator doors are closed and locked while the elevator is moving from one floor to the next.

This ensures that there is no way for anyone on the outside who can get onto a moving passenger elevator.

As mentioned above, electrical engineering allows for their to be electrical contacts, which indicate whether a door is open or closed. The passenger lift is designed so that it will not move if the doors are open.


Shock Absorbers

If a passenger elevator were to move from one floor to the next with no way of slowing down or no way of absorbing the energy when stopping at a certain floor, the gears and cables would become worn out at a much quicker rate.

Another problem is that if it is unable to slow down in the right way, people in the lift could suffer falls and jolts as the speed would be too fast.

Shock absorbers are installed by passenger lift manufacturers as a way to slow down the impact from moving from one level to the next. This system is most useful when going from the top level to the ground floor.

The Parachute

In case of a time where the passenger lift is not being helped to be slowed down by its usual ways, there are other measures that have been put into place.

Passenger elevator manufacturers have had to ensure that they are doing what they can in order to decrease the chance of risk. An elevator which is not slowing down automatically when going from one level to another can cause great harm.

Therefore passenger elevators have a parachute system which is deployed if and when an elevator seems to be picking up speed when it should be slowing down. This helps to try and slow down the system.


If there were to be a time when someone walked between the elevator doors and it kept on closing and wasn’t recognising the fact that there is a person in the way, there could be an issue.

Luckily passenger lift manufactures, such as Siyakhula Elevators, have all installed a technology which is used to sense when there is an individual or object in the way.

This photocell technology helps individuals by ensuring that they will not be crushed or bumped by the passenger elevator doors and that the detection device will keep the doors open until space is clear.

Device to ask for help

Passenger elevator manufacturers understand that there are times when all of the other safety systems may not be able to help in certain instances.

If the passenger lift were to stop working, the elevator stops in the middle of two floors, the doors won’t open or if someone in the lift required medical attention, then there would need to be a way to contact an elevator technician who would be able to assist you.

There is a help button which can be used by individuals in the passenger elevator so that they can reach a technician and in some cases speak to a technician or company on what exactly is going on.

Contact Siyakhula Elevators For More Information

Siyakhula Elevators provide supply, installation and maintenance of the finest elevators. Their goal is to ensure that passengers can get from the ground floor to their destination in the safest and most convenient way. Contact Siyakhula Elevators for more information.

Choosing the right company to manufacture and maintain elevators.

Elevators are wonderful mechanisms. Do you actually know the more complexed details other than it takes you from level one to level two? We discuss the difference between traction and hydraulic elevators, what elevators are made of and are old elevators safe?

What is the difference between traction and hydraulic elevators?

There is one major difference between traction and hydraulic elevators. It’s in the way the systems transport the cab. The cab is raised and lowered by traction steel ropes or belts on a pulley system with traction elevators as opposed to the hydraulic elevators. The traction elevators use less energy and serves mid to high rise buildings.

What are elevators made of?

An elevator is a big steel structure, a passenger elevator car is usually made of steel sheets and are finely trimmed on the inside with decorative panelling. The steel structure is called a sling and it extends down the sides of the car from the crosshead and cradles the floor or platform.


How safe are elevators?

Believe it or not an elevator is twenty times safer than escalators. There are 20 more elevators than escalators around however only 1/3 more accidents. Statistics show that elevators are actually safer than cars. Majority of people who die in elevators are actually elevator technicians. Overall elevators are pretty safe.

For all your elevator needs, contact Siyakhula Elevators.

Have a look our website , give us a call on 011 894 8352/3 , drop us a mail or simply fill in your details on our contact us page and we will gladly get in touch.

The History of Dumbwaiters

A dumbwaiter is a small lift that is used to carry food up to a restaurant from the kitchens below, and to take dirty dishes back down – a hidden but necessary device in many restaurants and cafés. These devices are created to carry products and not people between floors.

The origin of dumbwaiters

Dumbwaiters have been around for many years. The very first record of use dates back to 200BC during the age of the Romans. An architect designed the installation of a dumbwaiter to allow the movement of goods.

Why it is called a dumbwaiter?

The expression ‘dumbwaiter’ came to be as the lift that was used in enormous houses that the kitchens and staff were situated in the basements. These servants would then use the lift to transport food and dishes to the dining room and back down again. This allowed noise and cooking smell to be secluded from the guests and patrons. The origin of this term was that this lift was a way of having a silent waiter, not being seen and heard.

Past Dumbwaiters

Many dumbwaiters were simple human controlled devices, where a rope looped around a puller which was controlled by a person. A service lift such as this is still in use today. Older versions even had tubes for speaking, which allowed waiters to speak to chefs in the kitchen.

Modern Dumbwaiters

Today, this service lift is very much still alive and in many bars and restaurants. Dumbwaiters have become a reliable invention and essential to the catering industry. 20th century changes meant the introduction of heated cabins, intercoms, safety locks and the ability to choose where to stop off.

Dumbwaiters in the future

Where next for this trusty invention? With townhouses becoming popular – architects are recognizing the need to be able to transport items between floors without carrying heavy items up a number of stairs. Architects and house developers are adding buyer incentive to their homes by adding dumbwaiters.


Get a dumbwaiter installed

If you are in need of moving small quantities around your home or simply need it for the use of a restaurant, call Siyakhula Elevators today! Our Dumbwaiters is perfect as only takes a small area and are highly customisable!