1857 BRAIDED HAIR 1/2C PR65 Red Brown
GEM PROOF. ONLY 266 STRUCK. JUST ONE COIN GRADE HIGHER AT NGC.
The process of climbing several thousand feet into the air just to reach the top floors of a building would be a seriously daunting task without the convenience of elevators. While the concept of the elevator has been around since early Grecian times, they had not been mechanized nor were they often used to transport people. For example, there are records of gladiators and animals being lifted into battle on platforms raised through ropes and man power as well as King Louis the XV using a lift for his mistresses. In the mid-nineteenth century elevators powered by steam or water were only used to lift cargo, materials, or various items but never people due to their unreliable ropes. In 1852 Elisha Otis revolutionized the elevator industry when he invented a fall-safe break that prevented free falls. The following year Otis quit his job to establish his own company to sell his lifts, but did not truly find success until he demonstrated his invention at the 1854 World’s Fair. During his demonstration Elisha stood on a platform supported by his elevator which took him upward. Once he got several feet off the ground Otis stopped the lift and cut the rope while a worried and flummoxed crowd watched below. To everyone’s surprise Otis’s invention kicked in and allowed the platform to drop only inches before his spring loaded breaks held it in place. This truly showed everyone that elevators could now be used for passengers without fearing a freefall. Following the fair Otis sold seven lifts that same year, the following year he sold fifteen, but his true success came in 1857 when he was able to install his first commercial elevator. Otis’s first commercial client was a five story department store in the E.V. Haughwout building on Broadway in New York City. Both the owner and Otis knew the elevator would attract people from all over which would spark further success for both of them and revolutionize the construction world.