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Press Release


thyssenkrupp celebrates the 125-year anniversary of the escalator


The world’s first escalator, originally referred to as an incline elevator, was put into operation on January 16, 1893 in New York

Notable thyssenkrupp escalator installations in North America include One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Americas


Imagine a world where dreams of being transported upwards via a moving staircase was simply that, a dream. Urban mobility would look significantly different today, and be far more complicated, had it not been for a man who, while attempting to create New York City’s first double-decker subway, created something even more important.

Over 125 years ago, Jesse Reno invented the first working escalator, which was patented on March 15, 1892. The first escalator, then known as an incline elevator, was installed at the Old Iron Pier at Coney Island in New York City on January 16, 1893. The moving stairway elevated passengers on a conveyor belt at a 25-degree angle and traveled only seven feet.

The escalator ran for two weeks at Old Iron Pier before moving to the Brooklyn Bridge. It is estimated that it carried 75,000 passengers during its two weeks at the Old Iron Pier.

Today, more than 100 billion people in the United States alone use escalators every year.

Perfected by thyssenkrupp Elevator

The technology that Jesse Reno first developed 125 years ago has been perfected by thyssenkrupp and today, the company’s solutions are installed around the globe. To put thyssenkrupp’s impact in perspective, if all escalators installed by thyssenkrupp were joined together, they would span more than 300 miles – roughly the distance from New York City to Montreal.

One of thyssenkrupp’s most prominent recent installations in North America involved 12 escalators (and 71 elevators) being installed at One World Trade Center in New York, the tallest building in the Americas. Numerous models are available – from an escalator that’s only 350 inches long up to one that measures more than 160 feet. There is even “Royal Mode” escalators designed for kings and queens to easily start and stop by simply pressing a button, as well as mobile solutions that are a “to-go” option and can be carried around the world in airplanes.

The escalator’s 125th birthday is a great occasion for thyssenkrupp to not only celebrate and look back at history, but to look toward the future as well. Moving forward, urbanization demands will require smarter mobility solutions and, as thyssenkrupp has demonstrated with its rope-less MULTI elevator, it has the engineering acumen to meet those challenges and keep moving people as safely and efficiently as possible.





TK Elevator (formerly: thyssenkrupp Elevator)

With customers in over 100 countries served by 50,000 employees, TK Elevator achieved sales of €8.5 billion in the fiscal year 2019/2020. Over 1,000 locations around the world provide an extensive network that guarantees closeness to customers. Over the past decades, TK Elevator has established itself as one of the world’s leading elevator companies and became independent since its sale by thyssenkrupp AG in August 2020. The company’s most important business line is the service business represented by over 24,000 service technicians. The product portfolio covers commodity elevators for residential and commercial buildings to cutting-edge, highly customized solutions for state-of-the-art skyscrapers. In addition, it also consists of escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts. Integrated cloud-based service solutions, such as the MAX platform, are gaining in importance. With these digital offerings, there are no limits to urban mobility anymore. TKE – move beyond.