Going up! 157 years ago today, the first passenger elevator takes off

On March 23, 1857 the first commercial passenger elevator took customers up and down the 4 floors of the spectacular Haughwout Building in SoHo.  

This purveyor of fine china was described by The New York Times as “the greatest china and porcelain house in the city” in the 1850s. Even First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln had Haughwaut's design a custom set of plates and tableware for the White House.

But more significantly, the Haughwout Building installed the first commercial elevator designed for passenger use. You know the name of the inventor, you can still see his name engraved in many elevators around the world - OTIS, as in Elisha Graves Otis.

So next time you take a ride, check out whose elevator it is...