American naval officer and inventor who developed the first electrical motors, electric railways, and elevators. His inventions greatly helped expand the size of cities and promoted urban development.
Developing an interest in power plants from his days in the Navy, he briefly worked under Thomas Edison after the military, and developed his own electric motor.
His urban rail systems supplanted horse-drawn carts in cities within years, and he came up with the idea of 'express' elevators that went nonstop to higher floors.
He was born in Milford, Connecticut.
Elisha Otis's elevator company was initially a competitor of his, until the two businesses merged.