Monday, July 1, 2013

Going Up! Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top

Kulling, Monica Going Up! Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top, illustrated by David Parkins.  Tundra Books, 2013.  $18.  Content: G.  PICTURE BOOK.  NON-FICTION.  

From his time as a boy on the farm, Elisha Otis loved watching things go up and down, including the hay hoist, which used woven ropes which would often snap.  Otis hauled goods an he ran a gristmill, but it wasn’t until he moved to Albany, New York, that his talent for designing machinery made itself known.  His first design for a hoisting platform was for moving machine parts, but the idea of moving people was not far behind.  It wasn’t until the New York World’s Fair that Otis was able to demonstrate that his invention would be safe for people as well as inanimate objects.  Now people could build buildings higher that six floors.  

The turn-of-the-century drawings are just right for the true story out of the mid 1800’s.  I am not sure modern children will understand why the safety brake was such an important invention, because elevators are so ubiquitous in their world, but it is a great look at the beginnings of the industrial age.  

EL – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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