station. The arrows indicate each elevator's position and direction of travel. The elevator on the right is preparing to ascend, and the elevator on the left is descending from the top floor.]]An elevator or lift is a transport device used to move goods or people vertically. Languages other than English may have loanwords based on either elevator (e.g. Japanese) or lift (e.g. most European languages, Cantonese). Because of wheelchair access laws, elevators are often a legal requirement in new buildings with multiple floors.
Elevators began as simple rope or chain hoist. An elevator is essentially a platform that is either pulled or pushed up by a mechanical means. A modern day elevator consists of a cab (also called a "cage" or "car") mounted on a platform within an enclosed space called a shaft, or in Commonwealth countries called a "hoistway". In the past, elevator drive mechanisms were powered by steam and water hydraulic pistons. In a "traction" elevator, cars are pulled