Otis Elevator Company (commonly called Otis), is the world's leading industry in vertical transport systems such as elevators and escalators. Otis Elevator Company (or Otis Steam Elevator Works in 1853) was founded in 1853 by Elisha Graves Otis. When Elisha Otis was cleaning up a factory in Yonkers, New York, he was wondering about how to get all the old debris up on the upper levels of the abandoned factory. Otis heard of hoisting platforms, but they would often break and fall. Otis wouldn't take any chances on using hoisting platforms so instead, he made a safety device that would slow elevators to a stop if the cables suspending the elevator broke. Elisha Otis and his two sons Charles and Norton made a "safety elevator" with the device in 1852. Elisha Otis thought so little of his invention that he didn't patent the invention, nor did he sell it. After the beadstead factory declined, Otis decided to make an elevator company out of his invention. Later named Otis Steam Elevator Works.
At the 1853 New York World's Fair, Otis amazed the crowds as the only rope that was holding the platform Otis was standing on was cut. And the elevator only fell a couple feet before coming to a halt.
After the World's Fair, Otis recieved continuous orders, doubled each year. He invented the 3-way steam valve, which could switch the elevator between up and down, and could stop it rapidly. In Otis' spare time, he would experiment with his own inventions such as the bread-baking oven and the Train Brakes. Otis patented a steam plow in 1857. In the remaining years of his life, Otis' invention was purchased bby other major corporations. Elisha Otis died on April 8, 1861 at age 49.