The world’s first commercial “safety elevator” goes into service at Haughwout Department Store in New York City. Created and installed by Elisha Otis it was powered by a steam engine which moved at a rate of 40 feet per minute and took 15 seconds to move between floors. By the 1870’s there were 2000 Otis elevators in service. The creation of a practical and safe elevator was a major step towards the development of modern skyscrapers since it made buildings with more than a few floors accessible to the general public. Ironically, this first elevator was shut down after 3 years because not enough customers wanted to use it!