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History - Hero Image


Otis is an iconic brand with a rich history

We helped build cities, transformed how people live and work, and revolutionized architecture itself. We are continuing to lead the industry we created more than 167 years ago.


Built on a legacy of innovation

Otis was founded in 1853 after Elisha Otis invented the elevator safety brake, giving rise to the modern city, transforming how people live and work, and revolutionizing architecture. His invention would give rise to the modern city and forever change how we live.

Our history includes a string of industry firsts that have steadily improved elevator performance, enriched the passenger experience and allowed architects to design buildings in entirely new ways.

The gearless traction machine overcame previous height limits. The double-deck elevator increased the amount of rentable space in a building. Automatic elevators eliminated the need for a human attendant. Computerized controllers cut travel time. Our flexible steel belts last twice as long as steel ropes. And our remote elevator monitoring technology represented one of the first uses of big data and predictive analytics to improve performance.

Otis Elevators through the decades component

We have developed pioneering solutions for the world’s most awe-inspiring structures, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and the Burj Khalifa as well as the busiest transportation hubs and commercial buildings. We’re everywhere people are on the move.