The need for elevators has existed for longer than you might think. In 236 B.C., the Greek mathematician Archimedes designed a rudimentary elevator using ropes and a rotating spindle called a capstan. The Romans used a hauling device called a winch and counterweights to lift gladiators and animals up to the arena for battle.
Transporting goods, people, and livestock were some of the main reasons there was a need for these early shafts. Another reason included privacy. Louis XV had a few contraptions called the flying chair, for his mistress, and the flying table, for private dining affairs.
The modern elevator had its beginnings in the early 1800s, and by 1853, American industrialist Elisha Graves Otis introduced something spectacular at the New York Crystal Palace exposition: an elevator with a safety feature that broke the cab's fall in case the ropes broke, a common problem at the time. Four years later, the first passenger elevator was ready for use at a department store in New York City.
Scroll below to see some of the most stunning modern elevators around the world.
The AquaDom is a stunning acrylic glass aquarium featuring a built-in transparent elevator. It's located in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin-Mitte. Opened in 2004, the project cost about 12.8 million euros and stands at about 82 feet.