Ten things you never knew about… lifts

1. Otis demonstrated his invention at the 1853 World Fair in New York by standing in an elevator and having its cable cut with an axe…

2. …It jerked slightly but didn’t fall, demonstrating to a shocked crowd that his safety device worked. 

3. Otis had previously invented a bedstead turning machine and an automatic bread baking oven, but they had not been successful.

4. The Colosseum in ancient Rome had 24 lifts which were operated manually by 24 slaves.

5. The very first lift, powered by men or animals, had been invented by Archimedes in 236BC. 

6. Spain has the highest concentration of lifts in the world, roughly one for every 50 people. 

7. The first music in lifts was installed in 1920 to calm nervous passengers.

8. Between 2002 and 2010, 266 people were injured in lift-related accidents, with four people killed. 

9. These accidents most commonly occur to lift technicians or involve people getting their fingers stuck in the door.

10. These figures show you are 40 times more likely to be killed by a horse and 300 times more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than by a lift.