Since humankind first wrapped a rope around a wheel, we’ve been lifting things higher and higher. The Great Pyramids, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Stonehenge… all erected using a series of pulleys (though I heard Stonehenge might have been done by a bunch of wizards — I read it on the internet). But eventually, as populations grew and space became more limited, we built our buildings and homes in the only direction left to us. We went up.
And taking the stairs got real old, real fast.
Get on Up.
So here we are. In the United States alone there are over 900,000 elevators. Commercial elevator installation is commonplace in all highrises and hotels, and pretty much expected everywhere else. And there are over 10,000 people who install residential lifts in their homes each year, which shakes out to at least one installation every minute. Look out your window right now. Chances are good that someone on your street is installing an elevator. Probably Dan, with the silver camper. He seems like an elevator guy, am I right?
An Industry on the Rise.
At the same time we’re forsaking our calf muscles in favor of getting to our meeting without breathing like we just outran a bear, we’re also nurturing a huge industry. Commercial elevator repair is a growing sector, as every building needs reliable people to call in case of an emergency. It’s not like a coffee maker or a water cooler: If your elevator stops working, you’ve got a serious problem on your hand. When your employees and clients can’t go up, it can really bring your business down.
A Little Boost at Home.
People are living longer lives these days, and staying mentally sharp longer than at any time in human history. But the body doesn’t always stay sharp alongside the mind. Residential elevators are popping up (well, not popping up, per se, more like going up slowly and carefully, you know like an elevator does) more and more as aging homeowners choose to remodel and retrofit their homes rather than make the move to a care facility. And some people install elevators before they ever need them, with the full intention of staying in their homes as long as possible well into retirement.
Wrapping It Up.
The point is, elevators are everywhere. Commercial elevators take up less space and are much safer than escalators. Residential elevators are more convenient, offer more options, and are more affordable than ever. And they simply save you time (not to mention a bucket-and-a-half of sweat). So the next time you’re headed up to the 42nd floor, rocking out to “Girl From Ipanema” and trying desperately not to make eye contact with your fellow passengers, take a moment and give silent thanks to this magical box that lifts you from down there to way up there. Humankind never had it so good.