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Inventor's name: Elisha Graves Otis

Date of birth: August 3rd, 1811

Date of death: April 28th, 1861

Invention: Elisha invented the break for the elevator using a tough, steel wagon spring meshing with a ratchet.

When there was tension on the rope holding the elevator, tough jagged metal teeth on the sides of the elevator shaft grabbed elevator car holding it in place. Elisha was working in a factory in New York when he decided to make a break for the hoist that was used to take heavy objects up to other floors.

5 interesting facts:
* Elisha gave his first performance of his elevator break at a city fair.
* His invention affected the whole world because it made the elevator much safer.
* Elisha Otis was born in Halifax, Vermont.
* As an adult he became very interested in the safety of elevators.
* Elisha died at the very young age of 50.

Source: http://www.invent.org/book/book-text/81.html December 17, 2001.