Otis by Jason Goodwin
Giving Rise to the Modern City

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Without it there would be no such thing as a city skyline, or even a city as we know it. Yet Elisha Graves Otis invented the safe elevator almost by accident. He wanted simply to build a machine that would hoist a bedding factory's equipment safely. He built it, all right—and also made possible the construction of the skyscraper and laid the technical foundation for dynamic urban centers around the world. Jason Goodwin's account of the product and the business that Otis created is an American story of continuous growth and reinvention that continues even today and at an ever-faster pace. Founded in 1853 in a ramshackle foundry on the Hudson River in Yonkers, New York, the company survived wars and depressions and transformed itself from a gritty manufacturer into an inventive engineering power and, ultimately, a sophisticated international business. Mr. Goodwin documents its rise with a buoyant mix of enlightened scholarship and charming anecdote, highlighting Otis's essential technological contribution to the development of the modern city. With 48 pages of rare black-and-white photographs and illustrations.

About Jason Goodwin

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Jason Goodwin's previous books include Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire and On Foot to the Golden Horn. He lives in Sussex, England, is married with four children, speaks French and German and once walked from Poland to Istanbul.
Published July 18, 2001 by Ivan R. Dee. 286 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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But besides being the history of one company, Goodwin's book (which includes 48 pages of b&w illustrations) is also a thumbnail history of American business, with its mistakes, sins and undeniable triumphs.

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I think I would put Site 39, Blue Orb squarely in the genre of classic Science Fiction.

Sep 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Otis: Giving Rise to the Mode...

Project MUSE

Otis entered the hydraulic field by a means that it developed into a fine art: purchasing patents and buying out other firms.

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