Origins of Stairlifts
POSTED BY KEITH SIMPSON
In England we often joke about the stairlift (See www.stairliftcartoons.com). However, whilst we sometimes like to poke a little fun at our limitations – tens of thousands of us would be in a mess had it not been invented. This aid to safety on the stairs is usually described here in England with one single word – stairlift or chairlift, whereas the Americans – if their spell checks are anything to go by – prefer the double word version of stair lift or chair lift.
Who do we thank for origins of the stairlift?
The origins of what is now a highly advanced technical boost to the elderly or perhaps those disadvantaged with disability or illness have rarely been explored.
A gentleman originating from Pennsylvania in the 1920s – an American engineer – produced a chair device to help his polio-stricken friend climb stairs unaided.
(See Daily Mail News Article).
“A chair that goes up and down.”
This innovative creation required the strength of numerous servants lifting the giant royal thirty stone framework up some 20 feet of staircase at the Whitehall Palace in London. On top of everything a jousting accident causing an injury had meant that the Kings days of travelling, hunting and horse riding some twenty miles daily were undoubtedly numbered.
Indeed, the arrival of the “Stairthrone” meant, as it was to many of his contemporaries centuries later – that he could “stay in his home forever”.