16th century: Historian David Starkey has found evidence that King Henry VIII had a rudimentary stairlift at Whitehall Palace. The monarch’s chair was hoisted up and down stairs by servants using a block and tackle system.

1920s: C. C. Crispen, a Philadelphian entrepreneur, produced the first commercial stairlift in 1923 to help an ill friend. Using rollers and a track that ran next to the stairs, Crispen’s creation wasn’t all that different to the modern stairlifts we see today.


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