From the first rudimentary vertical transport systems to contemporary extreme engineering works. The history of lifts is strongly linked to Maspero Elevatori, which for over 50 years has been synonymous with quality in the sector.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an elevator? Certainly the most common image is that of the door of your home, with the elevator that takes you home after a day of work or leisure.
Accustomed to considering it an obvious and eternal tool, it is difficult to realize its importance in the development of modern Western society. For example, do you think skyscrapers would have ever existed without the invention of the elevator first? Or you can consider how many lives this vehicle may have saved since its introduction into hospitals, therefore able to transport a patient, perhaps in critical condition, very quickly from one room to another. Or even think of how fundamental it may have been during the industrial revolution, when there was not yet the possibility, except with an enormous human effort, to transport heavy goods from one floor of the factory to another.
The elevator is this and much more, and today we will try to reconstruct its history very briefly.
Going far back: first testimonies of elevators and elevators
The first sources that have come down to us, which report almost prehistoric elevators, for our point of view, operated by men (slaves, almost certainly) or animals, or even, wanting by water wheels, are dated even to the third millennium BC.
This information has come down to us by checking and studying the finds of the Colosseum in Rome, or even the history of the Royal Palace of Caserta, or even before the Palace of Versailles, the home of French sovereigns until the Revolution of 1789, in which from the end of the seventeenth century the transalpine Kings had similar elevator devices installed, Elevators and hoists.
The most famous of all is the one that Louis XV had built, it is said, to allow his favorite, the Duchess of Chateauroux, to have comfortable access to his apartment. Called “chaise volante”, flying chair, it was removed by his successor, the Marquis de Pompidour, in 1751.
Otis and the first modern elevator
The advent of the modern elevator can be considered in two distinct phases. The first concerns its efficiency, with the introduction, in the nineteenth century, of steam or hydraulic engines for their displacement, which will replace the human energy used up to them. As you can easily guess, the fact of using technological solutions contributes enormously to its diffusion to the general public, even if it is not the main reason.
Secondly, especially for the transport of persons, we would rightly say, the introduction of a good security system has been an enormous boost to its diffusion in civilian uses.
The invention of the first safety device is attributed to Elisha Otis, an American inventor active in both the construction of dolls and beds, who in 1853 presented, at the Crystal Palace in New York during the Universal Exposition, the first locking device, which stopped almost instantly the free fall of the elevator. Great was the wonder of the spectators, who were asked, as a demonstration, to cut the rope that supported the cabin. When, after a few centimeters, the elevator stopped, it was a real success, and practically gave way to the worldwide spread of this means of vertical displacement.
The first practical application took place in 1857 in New York, while in Italy the first lift for the transport of people was built by the Stigler mechanical workshops for the Costanzi hotel in Rome in 1870. Moreover, to underline the importance that was immediately attributed to this invention, one of the first spectacular applications of the new invention is the one seen in 1889 in France on the occasion of the presentation of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, in which an Otis elevator was mounted.
The introduction of the electric motor: from the end of the 800 until us
Like everything that is respected in the industrial age, with the revolution of the late ‘800 as a pivotal point and last before the advent, true, of digital, one of the last fundamental steps to get to the elevator as we understand it is the introduction of the electric motor.
This real turning point came in 1880, thanks to the German inventor Werner von Siemens. Moreover, from now on, the advantages of the electric elevator, including efficiency, very low installation costs, and the possibility of being able to maintain an almost completely constant speed regardless of the load, pushed the inventors to look for a solution to be able to use electric elevators even in skyscrapers. In fact, this medium had a very rapid diffusion in the United States for the need, in the cities, to build buildings more than four floors high due to the invasion of citizens from the remote countryside throughout the first half of the 1900s.
From this point on it was a succession of improvements that bring the elevator to be what it is today. For example, the abolition of the operator, dated 1924, and subsequently the introduction of automatic opening doors instead of manual ones, are two of the fundamental steps for the elevator as we imagine it nowadays, in 2022.
History of Maspero Elevatori
The history of Maspero Elevatori is long and prestigious. Technological innovations, the satisfaction of anyone who has ever turned to us, and our quality assurance have spoken for us since the foundation of the company in 1966 by Libero Maspero, who decided to pursue an entrepreneurial career after a long work experience in the field of elevators, elevators and hoists.
After all, the history of Maspero Elevatori can be summarized in very few words: continuous technological research, to always ensure the best TAILOR-MADE solution for any type of request, even the most extreme, absurd, unthinkable and ambitious.
Lifta S.a. it was the first foreign branch opened by Maspero, in 1972, and from then on began a strategy of international expansion that has no equal, but all subordinated to the guarantee of perfection of every single job.
Between the 80s and 90s the process of internationalization and expansion continues without limits. It is important to note that in this period our company has opened many branches in Italy and around Europe.
The company is certified with the Quality System UNI EN ISO 9001, and only three years later Maspero Elevatori obtains the patent of the rope lift MRL KOALA 2001. International certificates, in fact, are one of the clearest and fastest ways to demonstrate the quality of our products.
Between 2004 and 2007 there was an epochal change in Maspero. In 2004, in fact, the founder Libero Maspero passed away, leaving the subsequent evolutions of the company to his children, while in 2007 the company became a joint-stock company, certifying an international dimension that makes Maspero Elevatori one of the world leaders in the sector.
In conclusion, quality, certified by our history, is shown in the numerous branches and international partnerships that distinguish us. In addition to the four branches opened in Italy, namely Turin, Milan, Genoa and Rome, we can boast four other branches scattered around Europe (Lifta S.A. – Switzerland, Maspero Elevators SL – Switzerland, Maspero France, Maspero Limited – United Kingdom).
Finally, we underline how Maspero Elevatori operates not only in Europe, but also in Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait) where quality is the master and operates only world excellence, Asia, with a branch in India and two partnerships in South Korea and Japan, and in South America, with a partnership operating in Argentina and another that is divided between Panama, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Aruba, Curacao, Barbados, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile).