View Full Version : Elevators at the Paris Opera

12-23-2013, 05:13 AM
Does anyone know if the elevators at the Palais Garnier were installed when it was built in the 1870s? Or were they a later addition? If so, how late? My story is set in 1881 and I need to know if I can mention them or not.

I know elevators existed in the 1880s, but they were relatively rare, so the question is, did the Paris Opera have them? I've tried Googling, but all I can find are tourist sites that list hotels with elevators near the Opera.

12-24-2013, 05:47 AM
I have searched every combination of words I can think of, and can't find your answer. I used to have great google-fu, but it seems to have failed this time.

It is an interesting question, and I'll keep rummaging around. I did find that the first elevator in a commercial building was in NYC in 1870.


12-24-2013, 05:52 AM
Thanks for trying!

12-24-2013, 06:07 AM
My google-fu is the best, babee.

I've so far found:

This... (http://www.mitsubishielectric.com/elevator/overview/elevators/history.html)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, in England, Frost and Stutt successfully developed a counterbalance-type, traction-method elevator called the “Teagle”, in 1853...

In 1867, the practicality of the hydraulic-power elevator was recognized when Leon Edoux exhibited one at the Paris Exposition. With a top speed of 150 meters per minute (492 ft./min.), hydraulic-power elevators began appearing in 1878, and became widely used in Europe and the United States...

Oil-power hydraulic elevators were installed in the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of the Paris Exposition in 1889, forming a dramatic demonstration of the practicality of this type of elevator.

This... (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110329103557AAroVFr)

1867 the first elevator was built to carry building material.
1878 two elevators were built at the Universal Exposition of Paris, put on one of the towers of the Trocadero they could carry 80 passengers 60 metres high.

The first permanent ones were built on the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

Two Roux-Combaluzier elevators and two Otis for the legs, one Edoux elevator with a double cockpit for the vertical part (second and third levels

This (Elevator Systems of the Eiffel Tower) (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32282/32282-h/32282-h.htm)has a lot on the specifics of development that may be a jumping-off point to something more helpful.

This (http://www.wittur.com/website/product_grid.aspx?id=704)is about the recent modernization of the particular elevator in question, so you may be able to contact the company that did the work and inquire as to the history?

I'm guessing you've got this, but it contains the # for information so ... :Shrug:

Palais Garnier
Place de l’Opera
8 Rue Scribe
Ile de France

Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 01 17 89
Information: +33 (0) 1 71 25 24 23

12-24-2013, 10:37 PM
Thanks! I was reading about the Eiffel Tower's elevators, but I couldn't find anything specific to the Palais Garnier. It's definitely plausible they had them in 1881, but without knowing for sure, I hesitate to use them in my novel. There will be that one reader who knows and then I'll get lambasted for historical inaccuracies.