Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Multimedia Gallery

You are here: Census.govNewsroomMultimedia GalleryAudioProfile America › Moving Experience
Skip top of page navigation

Moving Experience

August 9, 2014

You may Listen or download this story in .mp3 format or as a .wav file.

Profile America — Saturday, August 9th. With so much modern infrastructure featuring soaring atriums and deep subterranean transit systems, it's not easy to imagine getting by without escalators. However, this efficient people mover was conceived in a far simpler, down to earth time. The first patent for a moving stairway was obtained on this date in 1859 by Nathan Ames. However, it was never built. The first practical escalator was built by Jesse Reno in 1896 at Coney Island, New York. Reno called his device an "inclined elevator." The longest escalator in the western hemisphere is 230 feet long, at the Wheaton, Maryland station of the Washington Metro System. Manufacturing escalators and elevators in the U.S. is a nearly $1.6 billion a year business. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at

Kane's Famous First Facts, 2106 NAICS 333921

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: July 29, 2014