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The Straight & Curved Stairlift Buyers Guide®

 

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Curved Rail Stairlifts

Curved Rail Stairlifts

 

Stairlift History

Stairlift History

 

'a chair...that goeth up and down'

From Motor Cars to Motor Stairlifts

History of the Stairlift

'a chair...that goeth up and down'

 

One of the very first mentions of stairlifts in historical times was regarding King Henry VIII of the United Kingdom in the early 16th century! The 420 lb. King, injured through jousting, used a chair (chair lift) that was hauled up and down stairs on a block and tackle system by servants at the ancient Whitehall Palace in London.

 

Also, it is reported that a block and tackle system was used by servants to lift the King onto the Mary Rose, the king’s warship.

 

Described in royal records as 'a chair...that goeth up and down', the stairlift is thought to have been operational at Whitehall Palace in London where it would have hauled the King up a 20ft staircase.

 

King Henry also had three 'amazingly luxurious thrones on wheels' (wheelchairs) which could transport him within his homes at Hampton Court, Greenwich and Whitehall Palace. 

 

With up to 150 years of lift manufacturer experience, today, world leading UK stairlift manufacturers are producing advanced technology stairlifts for home and commercial use in over 70 countries including the USA, South America, Europe and Asia. 

 

The stairlift industry has made wonderful strides forward in technology, manufacturing, stairlift safety, comfort, convenience, performance and ease of use providing a free home staircase stairs measurement no-obligation complimentary survey and consultation

From Motor Cars to Motor Stairlifts

The Original Crispen Stairlift
The Original Crispen Stairlift

C. C. Crispen, Inventor of the Original Stair Lift in America

 
It all began, 89 years ago, when C. C. Crispen, founder of the company, and inventor of the original stair lift, was in the motor car business in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He loved automobiles and his firm, C. C. Crispen Motor Car Company, specialized in Cadillac, the finest in its field, at the time.
 
While visiting a convalescing friend, the mechanically minded Crispen got his idea for a movable seat that would traverse stairways employing house current. Although the neighbor was improving rapidly, he had been told by his doctor not to use the second floor of his home for a number of weeks.
 
Crispen says he thought of several other friends who had been in the same predicament and that "something clicked, he went home and began to work on the problem." After a patent search and a few months, he conceptualized a folded chair bolted to a roller truck to run on a flanged raiI and narrow enough to take very little room upon the stairway. The truck would be raised by a cable-winding machine that could be placed in several alternate locations.
 
The first stairway elevator was built in the inventor's basement, operated on a closed-off stairway and was quickly given the name, "lnclinator." With a zeal that was not uncommon among small businessmen of the 20's, Crispen started his company with 2,500 shares of stock that were sold to personal friends some of whom even provided parts such as castings that were incorporated in the original models.
 
The company was incorporated in 1924 and the first sale made in July. By the end of the year, six units were out in the field. The first big break came when the Philadelphia Electric Company (PEC) invited lnclinator to display the new product in its showroom and advertised it in the Philadelphia newspapers.
 
A rash of sales was prompted by that exposure. The second substantial assist came when Westinghouse, learning of the PEC exhibit, asked Crispen to install a stair unit that would lead to the second floor of their "Electric Home" on Atlantic City's Boardwalk. Exposure here was before many visitors from other parts of the country and inquiries began to funnel in from many other areas, leading to the establishment of a distribution system.
 
C. C. Crispen is a quiet man, proud of his contribution, not so much, because of the success of his company, but "because of the product's service to mankind." "I was always grateful to get letters from customers who had been able to lead a happier life because of our product and it made us work that much harder." 
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