Home to four of the world's largest steam engines and an ASCE National Landmark and AWWA Landmark
 Historical Elevators


ALONG ABOUT 1850 the construction of multi-storied office and factory structures in Cincinnati and other cities led to elevator manufacturing. Warren Warner, Cincinnati, an engineer studying the vertical transportation problem in 1860 designed and built the first hydraulic elevator to be used locally, and founded the Warner Elevator Manufacturing Company, 2613-31 Spring Grove Avenue. Incorporated in 1887, the company was the third largest elevator manufacturer in the country. When electric power superseded water pressure in the late nineteenth century, the local concern kept stride with progress by designing electric-driven elevators. Warner made every type of elevator, from the high-speed passenger and freight elevator to the dumbwaiter. An exclusive product is its electrically driven, plunger type elevator for residential use.

Other Cincinnati Elevator Manufactures:

1. Shepard Elevator Company (1921), 2425 Colerain Avenue, which had its own foundry.

The Shepard Elevator Company of Cincinnati (founded in 1890), acquired the Warner Elevator Company became the Shepard Warner Elevator Company about 1921. They manufactured home elevators until purchased by Dover Corp around 1959. The home elevator division was acquired by the ThyssenKrupp’s Access Elevator Division, around 1990), who still makes a product very similar to the original home lift.

2. Cincinnati Elevator Works, 212 West Second Street

3. Economy Elevator Company, 12 Laurel Street

4. National Elevator Manufacturing Company, 7 West Second Street

5. Schatzman Elevator Works, 119 West Second Street

6. The H. J. Reedy Co. (REEDY ELEVATORS)




They Built A City - 150 Years of Industrial Cincinnati    pdf







Elevator Radio Show



National Elevator Industry History


The Elevator Museum



 Nationwide Lifts



History of the Elevator Industry in America  (pdf)
by: Patrick A. Carrajat




From: Cincinnati, the Queen City, 1788-1912, Volume 4

C. H. M. Atkins, manufacturer, banker, prominent citizen, president of The Warner Elevator Company, and actively identified with numerous business and financial interests of Cincinnati is a native of this city. His father, Richard L. Atkins, was also born here and was for many years engaged in the piano business at 144 West Fourth street, under the firm name of R. L. Atkins & Company, in which connection he was regarded as one of the city's substantial business men. He retired sometime ago, but is still residing here and is now seventy-six years of age. His father, John Atkins, a native of England, was the founder of the family in America and was one of the pioneer residents of Cincinnati. Richard L. Atkins, wedded Anna S. Warner, who was born in Cincinnati and is now in her seventy-fifth year. Her father, Warren Warner, was born in Ohio and lived in this city from his boyhood. He became a partner in the firm of Miles Greenwood & Company, well known in connection with the manufacture of architectural iron work and the building of bridges, jails, bank vaults, and other structures, and during the war constructed boats and cannon for the government. The plant, the largest in the west in its day, was located on the site of the present Ohio Mechanics Institute. In this plant about the year 1858, Warren Warner built the first hydraulic elevator, built in America, Cincinnati thus becoming the pioneer of the hydraulic elevator manufacturing industry.

C. H. M. Atkins was educated in the Cincinnati public schools and the Baldwin private school. Immediately after leaving school he became associated with his grandfather, Warren Warner, in business. The Warner Elevator Company was organized in 1860 and in 1887 was incorporated with Warren Warner, president and C. H. M. Atkins, secretary and treasurer. Upon the death of Mr. Warner, in 1891, Mr. Atkins became president and has ever since remained the executive head of the enterprise, one of the most important of its kind, ranking third in the output of electric elevators in the United States. The plant with its acres of floor space is equipped with the most modern machinery and the construction departments give employment to a large force of expert workmen. The trade extends to practically every civilized country and under the able management of Mr. Atkins, the business has developed along gratifying and substantial lines.