Improved Method for Opening and Closing Elevator Doors
Patent #: 371,207
Alexander Miles, who contributed to the elevator industry, was an
African-American inventor of the late 19th century who was able to transcend
racial barriers in the United States.
Miles, who was born in Duluth, Minnesota, designed an elevator that
was able to open and close its own doors and the elevator shaft doors.
When the elevator would arrive or depart from a given floor, the doors
would move automatically. Previously, the opening and closing of the
doors of both the shaft and the elevator had to be completed manually by
either the elevator operator or by passengers, contributing greatly to
the hazards of operating an elevator.