Dover Corporation
Dover Elevator Logo




Memphis, TN

Preceded by

Automobile Rotary Lift Co.

Succeeded by

Thyssen Dover (then thyssenkrupp)

Year active

1955 - 1999


Elevator division defunct

Dover Corporation is an American-based company. The company manufactured passenger and freight elevators from 1955 to 1999, and was the 3rd largest elevator company. They still manufactures automotive lifts under the "Rotary Lifts" name. Dover had its home/head office located in Memphis TN and manufacturing plants located in Horn Lake and Walnut, MS; Middleton, TN; and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.


Dover Corporation was originally known as Rotary Lift, a manufacturer of automobile lifts that opened in 1925. In 1940, Rotary Lift invented the modern hydraulic passenger elevator known as Oildraulic, which has become popular since and rivals such as Otis, Montgomery, Haughton, Westinghouse, etc. began making hydraulic elevators. Rotary changed its name to Dover Corporation and split the company into two separate divisions: Rotary Lift, which manufactures automobile lifts, and Dover Elevator Division, which manufactured passenger and freight elevators.

In 1958, Dover Corp. bought out Shepard-Warner Elevator. Since Shepard-Warner made geared & gearless traction elevators, Dover began making them in addition to hydraulic elevators as a result of the merger.

In 1971, Dover Corp. entered the British market by acquiring Hammond & Champness. Some of Dover's equipment installed in the United Kingdom from the mid-1970s onward were effectively branded as H+C or H+C Lifts.

In 1999, Dover Corp. sold it's elevator division to the German-based Thyssen Elevator, and changing the name into ThyssenDover Elevator. However, Dover elevators saw little change as a result of this buyout; the same fixtures and cab designs continued to be used, and ThyssenDover elevators were very rarely labeled as such in the cab or any readily visible areas (they are normally labeled as Dover). As a result of this, ThyssenDover elevators are usually only distinguishable by their date of manufacture. In 2001, Thyssen finished the merger with Krupp, forming thyssenkrupp. This marked the end of the Dover name in the elevator industry.

Post-Dover era

ThyssenKrupp continued on making Dover's Oildraulic (their version of hydraulic) until October of 2012 when they discontinued the it. It was replaced with the new Endura system, that is supposed to use new eco-friendly hydraulic oil and is said to be the same basic design as Oildraulic. ThyssenKrupp continues to make traction elevators and has added machine room less elevators (notably the Synergy) and destination dispatch to their product lineup.


Dover was unique in that they had many independent, local distributors that bought Dover equipment and sold/installed it, usually bearing both their name and Dover's name. These reached their peak in popularity in the late 1960's, which is when Dover began to absorb these distributors and begin installing elevators on a much wider scale. Some companies, such as Burlington Elevator (New York/New Jersey), were dissolved in the mid 1970's. Others, such as Security (New Jersey), Eastern (New England), and Miami (Florida), lasted into the 1980's or 1990's. Some, such as Marshall Elevator (Pennsylvania) lasted well into the ThyssenKrupp years. Others, such as O'Keefe Elevator (Iowa/Nebraska), still exist today as ThyssenKrupp distributors.

List of known Dover distributors in the U.S.:

  • Bay State Elevator Co. (New York and Vermont)
  • Burlington Elevator (New York)
  • Dominion Elevator (Virginia)
  • Eastern Elevator (New England)
  • Grindel Elevator Co. (Pennsylvania)
  • Hobson Elevator Co. (Washington)
  • Hunter-Hayes Elevator (Texas)
  • Independent Elevator Co. (Michigan)
  • Lagerquist Corp. (Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming)
  • Marshall Elevator Co. (Pennsylvania)
  • Miami Elevator (Florida)
  • Nashville Machine Co., Inc. (Tennessee)
  • Northwestern Elevator Co. (Michigan and Wisconsin)
  • O'Keefe Elevator Co. (Iowa and Nebraska)
  • Security Elevator Co. (New Jersey and Pennsylvania)
  • Seelar Elevator Inc. (Pennsylvania)
  • Sound Elevator Co. (Oregon and Washington)
  • Stanley Elevator Co. (New Hampshire and Pennsylvania)

Worldwide distributors

Dover Corp. had many distributors around the world. In Canada, Dover was headquartered in Toronto, ON. In the United Kingdom, Dover elevators were distributed by Hammond & Champness from the early 1970s until 1999. Their elevators were branded as Hammond & Champness Lifts, and later H+C Lifts. Dover also had branch in Germany, located in Langenhagen and operate under the name Dover Europe Aufzange GmbH.

In Asia, Dover had several distributors and third-party installers located in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. In Singapore, Dover elevators were distributed by Duford East Elevator Pte. Ltd., while in Malaysia they were distributed by Dover Elevator Sdn. Bhd. Nowadays both companies continues to install or modernize elevators using third-party components. In South Korea, Dover elevators were distributed by Hyundai Elevator. Dover also exported their elevators to Australia through Australian Elevators Corporation (AEC).

Dover also had two overseas representative offices located in Thailand (for the Asia Pacific region) and Mexico (for the Latin/Caribbean region).

List of known Dover distributors outside the U.S.:

  • Abdul Aziz Eshaq (Bahrain)
  • Al-Futtaim (United Arab Emirate)
  • Alfion S.A. (Argentina)
  • Ascensores Del Peru S.A. (Peru)
  • Ascensores Opitz Y Cia LTDA (Chile)
  • Australian Elevators Corporation/AEC (Australia)
  • Bermuda Elevator Co. Ltd. (Bermuda)
  • Celco Cia, Ltda. (Ecuador)
  • Coremsa (Costa Rica)
  • Copas (Paraguay)
  • Desarrollo Vertical, S.A. DE D.V. (Mexico)
  • Deya Elevator Services Inc. (Puerto Rico)
  • Distribuidora Yale, S.A. De C.V. (El Salvador and Guatemala)
  • East Elevators Pte. Ltd. (now Duford East) (Singapore)
  • Electro-Systems (Philippines)
  • Elvadores Panama S.A. (Panama)
  • Hammond & Champness Ltd. (United Kingdom)
  • Hyundai Elevator Co. Ltd. (South Korea)
  • Island Elevator Company (Guam)
  • Multi-Tec Engineering Services Ltd. (Jamaica)
  • National Fluid Power (New Zealand)
  • Promociones Irene S.A. (Venezuela)
  • Saudi Eta Ltd. (Saudi Arabia)
  • Toyo-Hydro Elevator Co. Ltd. (Japan)
  • U.S. Systems Ltd. Partnership (Thailand)
  • Wason Elevator Corp. (Taiwan)



Further information: Oildraulic

The Oildraulic was known to be the first modern hydraulic elevator, invented by Automobile Rotary Lifts in 1937. It was produced under the Dover name and then the ThyssenKrupp name until October 2012 when it was replaced with the Endura.


Further information: Dover Computamatic

Dover's Computamatic elevator system was similar to the Westinghouse Selectomatic and Otis Autotronic elevators.


Further information: Dover Traflomatic

Dover's other automatic control system. Traflomatic I, II, and 500 were relay logic; but Traflomatic III & IV were microprocessor control systems.


Main article: Dover Elevator Fixtures Guide.

Before Dover started manufacturing their own fixtures in 1968, they used GAL fixtures and custom panels. Their standard-issue fixtures by the late 1960's were black buttons with a white halo that lit up and a distinctive indicator with square segments that lit up for each floor. The following listing is of Dover-manufactured fixtures.

  • "1970's Black" (1968 - 1970's) - These fixtures had no known official name. These buttons were black with a white halo that lit up, similar to the GAL fixtures that they used immediately prior to these. These, however, have a distinctly smaller halo than the GAL fixtures. The floor indicator was similar to the GAL indicator that they used immediately prior, but the segments for the floors were spaced farther apart. This is dubbed the "chiclet indicator".
  • "1970's White" (1968 - late 1970's) - These fixtures had no known official name. These buttons were similar to the 1970's black buttons, except that they were white with a black halo, and the actual button lit up. The indicator is the same "chiclet indicator" from above.
  • Traditional (mid 1970's - 1999, used by ThyssenDover and ThyssenKrupp through 2007) - These fixtures are similar in appearance to the 1970's white buttons (and the 1960's black buttons on special order), but the surface of the button is smoother and the button presses in less, giving somewhat of an illusion of a touch-sensitive fixture. Early on, the chiclet indicator was used, but Dover eventually moved to a digital/faux digital "alarm clock" indicator in the late 1970's, followed by a dot matrix/faux dot matrix indicator in the mid 1980s. 1990's Traditional put button labels on brailes off to the side of the button rather than printing the labels on the actual buttons. After 1999, the buttons were made by ThyssenDover, then by 2001, ThyssenKrupp.  In 2007, ThyssenKrupp overhauled the traditional line into its current form.
  • Impulse (1983 - 1999, still offered by ThyssenKrupp for special orders) - This is Dover's most common and distinct fixture line, and their first to adopt a modular design. It was still being manufactured and installed on a normal basis by ThyssenKrupp through 2006.  However, it is still available with custom installs as of current day.

Notable installations

Main article: List of notable Dover elevator installations



See also


External links

Major elevator companies
DoverExpress LiftFujitecHitachiHyundaiKoneMitsubishiOtisSchindlerSigmaThyssenthyssenkruppToshiba
Full list: List of elevator and escalator companies
See also: Third-party elevator maintenance companies