Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Going Up!: Elisha Otis's Trip to the Top (Great Idea Series) Hardcover – October 9, 2012
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Kulling gives lesser-known inventor Elisha Otis a lift in this latest entry into the Great Idea series…. [T]his picture-book biography gives a lively account of Otis’ world-changing invention. Caricatured expressions set against detailed backdrops add playfulness to the informative text.”
Top Customer Reviews
"Going up!" shouts seven-year old Elisha Otis as he watches the hay hoist. It's 1818, and young Elisha loves watching farm machines at work. He carries this love with him as he - at nineteen -- moves away from the farm, eventually starting his own family. By 1845, Elisha is working in a bed-frame factory, when he is inspired to make a machine that makes bed rails more quickly. His bed rail turned proved so successful, he is put in charge of building a new bed frame factory in Yonkers, New York. As he built the new factory, however, Elisha didn't trust the hoisting platform; if the platform failed, as they often did in those days, falling machine parts could hurt people. So, he built a safety brake.
"Going up!" Elisha shouts to his men, as he began testing his safety brake. Once the platform reaches full height, he shouts, "Let it fall!" The workers are astonished as they watch - and the safety brakes hold the platform!
And then, Elisha gets a new idea:
"One night in 1853, Elisha sat bolt upright in bed. His nightcap was skew. "We'll lift people!" he shouted.
"Lift people? Where?" mumbled a sleepy Betsy...
"Why, to the sky, of course! To the sky!"
But people didn't trust the people-hoisting elevators.Read more ›
I always enjoy good picture book biographies and Monica Kulling's "Great Idea Series" is a favourite of mine. She has a knack for picking the not so common inventors of the last 150 years or so. These are inventions we've heard of but the inventor's names are not always the most well known. I have heard of Elijah Otis before but if asked who he was I would have answered "an inventor" not really connecting his name with his famous and life-changing invention, the elevator. The book takes the usual form of this series which is comforting as each book is a welcome read when we know what to expect. This one skips Elijah's childhood very fast as by page three he is married, widowed, father of two and remarried as he sets off to try his luck in New York.
We find Elijah a studious man, who though working in a factory by day, spends his evenings designing machinery to improve the speed of the manufacturing process. Written with short paragraphs or two per page, each accompanied by large intricate illustrations that perfectly show off both Otis' character and the time period. We eventually learn how he comes up with the idea of the elevator, the public's initial reluctance to believe it was safe and the eventual implementation of the elevator in architecture and its direct influence on the building of "skyscrapers". Another fine entry in the series.
Otis's life and contributions are told in an appealing story-like form. However, the author uses dialogue in such a way that I could not tell if it was from primary sources or a fictionalized rendering of events. Unfortunately, there is no back matter to clear up the puzzle. There is, however, an odd poem at the beginning of the book that feels just thrown in there. Despite these flaws, this is an interesting and engaging book with appealing illustrations. I would recommend it as a starting point for kids wanting to know more about Elisha Otis, or about inventor's lives -- I just wish it had provided more information.