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Early French Industrial Elevator Model, c.1860s

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Early French elevator model, c.1867. The style of this elevator is similar to the early types by Elisha Otis from 1854. The word "ascenseur" was first coined in 1867 in time for The Universal Exhibition in Paris by Félix Léon Edoux. This model has brass plates to mark it: It was produced by Cie. des Ascenseurs et Monte Charges Industrielles - The Elevator and Industrial Lift Company, and each floor is marked: Ground floor - rez de chaussée, and the first and second floors - 1 and 2 étage. Note - the first floor in Europe is what Americans consider the second floor. Mr. Edoux would go on to create hydraulic elevators for another world's fair: He installed elevators for the Eiffel Tower. The elevators he installed in 1889 lasted almost 100 years and they were replaced in 1983.

This model was likely used to show real estate investors - in 1860, Paris absorbed villages outside of the walls and gutted the majority of medieval center. Industry was the application of technology to reduce the physical burden of work and to make the work more efficient. This was likely a model shown to demonstrate how factories could move product and labor quickly and safely.

The result was the Paris we know today with uniform rows of eight-story apartments, almost all of which were serviced by an elevator. Advances in human efficiency did not stop on the job - for many. The highest floor of these Haussmannian buildings are usually not accessed by the elevator - this level is reserved for the chambre de bonne. Those who could afford a residence of high standing also had the funds for a maid - the service staff had the best view of Paris and an eight-story climb.

Our model works - please come in and ask for a demonstration. Constructed of wood, cast iron, and a jute rope. There is a crack in the bottom of the elevator. The brass plates are free of any flaws.

France, c. 1860s.

It measures 15 x 12.75 x 42.5 inches and weighs 24.13 lbs. 


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