History Of Stairlifts

Stairlifts play an important role in many people’s lives and give owners a chance to remain independent in their own home when climbing the stairs has become a struggle and is potentially dangerous. Stairlifts are mechanical devices that are able to transport people up and down stairs on a chair or in a wheelchair. The lift is attached to a rail and powered by a motor which is able to get them from the bottom to the top of the stairs and vice versa. Many people are familiar with stairlifts in the UK and there are numerous suppliers that are able to offer various lifts for outright purchase and rental.

Although the modern stairlift is well known, the history of stairlifts is not. Like when was it invented and by whom?

When was the stairlift created?

The history of stairlifts is fairly short, that is the case for the modern stairlift we know today anyway. Leading historians such as Dr. David Starkey believe the first ever stairlift to have been invented way back in 1536 in England during the reign of King Henry VIII. The concept originated after the King of England suffered a serious injury when participating in a joust leaving in need of a solution to move around in his homes at Whitehall, Greenwich and Hampton Court. The solution that was thought up by servants of the king was a block and tackle pulley system which could lift the King’s body.

Recent history of stairlifts and the models similar to those of today dates back to 1920 in America and a man named C.C Crispen. Crispen was a business man from Pennsylvania and it was he that first came up with the idea and design of the stairlift, a device which could carry a person from floor to floor. The reason for Crispen coming up with the idea was due to the illness of a friend which left him unable to move up and down stairs. Crispen called his invention the ‘The Inclin-ator’.

Mainstream history of stairlifts

By the 1930’s, stairlifts had become common appliances and were becoming widely used for victims of Polio who had suffered paralysis as a result of the disease. Stairlifts in the UK really began to take-off when a company named ‘Stannah’ first introduced their stairlift in 1974. Stannah stairlifts quickly became known as the market leader and were widely regarded as the most reliable, this has remained the case to this day and Stannah have become world renowned in the manufacture of stairlifts.

From the 1970’s onwards the history of stairlifts has become more and more technologically advanced which numerous variations and being pioneered.

Modern stairlifts

Modern stairlifts are now unrecognisable from the original ‘Inclin-ator’ let alone the pulley system used by England’s most famous King. Modern stairlifts are designed to include numerous features that enhance comfort and safety of the lift, including emergency stop button, safety belts and flip up rails. Stairlifts can also be custom measured and manufactured to fit any kind of staircase.

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