The History of Platform Lifts

Lifts are a magnificent piece of machinery, and although they are something that we often take for granted, they haven’t been around forever.  Platform Lifts are prominent in society, in residential and commercial properties alike, offering a practical; alternative for negotiating floors on different levels.

Platform Lifts are used by various industries for a wide range of reasons, whether it be to transport goods from A to B, without the need for operatives or to provide wheelchair users with the same opportunity as everyone else.

Today, the Wheelchair Liftor Open Style Platform Liftoffers unlimited uses for public and private buildings; whether it be to carry furniture from one building to the next or to transport patients to a new ward, but how have they developed over time?

Earliest record of the Platform Lift.

The Platform Lifts are older than you possibly imagined. Before the Access Liftswere developed, there were no mechanisms like the ones that we have today, platforms were simply connected to ropes. It was using these ropes that the platforms were hoisted manually either by slaves or animals.


By 236BC, Archimedes built a lift that offered a more practical solution for transporting people and goods between varying heights. The sighting of this lift was first reported by Vitruvius and led to the development of new and innovativeInclined Platform Lifts.

The Passenger Liftorthe Flying Chair was created by King Louis XV in 1743. The Flying Chair was a manually operated lift that was placed on the Kings balcony at the Chateau de Versailles. As far as Access Lifts go, the Flying Chair may not seem like much, however, at the time it delivered a sense of convenience for a wide range of users.

Industrialisation of Access Lifts.

It wasn’t long before lifts and lift technology took off, putting to use the same technologies as steam and hydraulics. This technology enhanced the performance of the Access Lifts, allowing passengers to transport quickly and effortlessly.

The industrialisation of the Access Lifts saw the generation of Passenger and Cargo Lifts, offering suitability for residential and commercial buildings.

Modernisation of the Wheelchair Lift.

Access Lifts and Disability Lifts were operated by drive systems based on hoists and winders.

Two architects, Burton and Hormer, designed the Ascending Room in the 19th Century. This lift elevated paying customers to allow them to experience the panoramic views of London.

In 1852, Elisha Otis, an American lift engineering pioneer, created the first Safety Lift. The safety lift is designed to prevent the cab from falling, allowing passengers to transport safely and with confidence.

It was in the 1930’s that Lift technology had developed significantly, so much so that buildings could be built higher and higher.

Disability Lifts from Level Access Lifts.

Offering a rich history, the Disability Lifts are always evolving to provide a convenient way and means for passengers to reach restricted areas. The design of the Wheelchair Lift has progressed dramatically over time to create the lifts that we use within society today. The Wheelchair Lift has always offered a practical solution for negotiating stairs, providing wheelchair users with a sense of comfort and confidence.

No matter which of the Disability Lifts you choose from the extensive range at Level Access Lifts, they each offer a safe, reliable solution for any restricted area. The Disability Lifts are ideal for those who have limited mobility, providing them with the same access as everyone else.

Whether it be an Access Lift or a Wheelchair Lift, they are designed with your needs in mind, achieving maximum functionality and offering effective transportation. As well as this, the Disability Lifts restore independence, allowing people to move between levels with ease.

Need to know more about the Platform Lifts that are available at Level Access Lifts? Call them on 0845 4662 999 today.