The History of Aerial Lifts
When I think of an aerial lift, I typically think of the kind of lift that is used at a ski resort or other tourist location. Aerial lifts have become quite popular as transportation methods in both metropolitan areas and more out-of-the-way locations. The lifts are often used in areas where traditional roads or rail systems would have difficulties, such as in rocky terrain or mountains. Aerial lift manufacturers create many types of lifts for transporting people from one place to another.
However, the original use for the machines was actually not as a personal transport vehicle at all. One of the original uses for the aerial lifts was to transport mining supplies and materials from one place to another. Usually, the lifts were used to transport mining supplies from a high location down to a lower location so that the goods could be moved quickly and easily down the side of a mountain. The first aerial lift was built in 1644 by Adam Wiebe and was used to transport soil from one location to another. From the 1600s to the mid 1800s, thousands of aerial lifts were built to transport goods from one place to another.
In World War I, mining tramways were used to transport military supplies and building supplies for defenses throughout Italy and Europe. Other locations that had these lifts included Russia, Alaska, New Zealand, France, and Argentina. Essentially, any location with difficult terrain used the lifts for fast and effective transportation. Another benefit of the aerial lifts during war time is that it was harder for the carts to get bombed or raided while they were on the line. The enemy would have to attack either end of the line to stop transportation, and the ends of the line were usually heavily guarded. After WWI, Aerial lift manufacturers switched toward making the lifts transport people, because airplanes and fast travel made the lifts less efficient at transporting goods.