This is a guide on how to find out how old an elevator/escalator is. This guide has different tips in it, some not well known.
Elevator companies' website
- Main article: List of elevator and escalator companies
Some notable elevator installations were logged in the elevator companies' website.
Elevator interlock dates
- Main article: Door interlocks
Otis and Schindler interlocks, at least in the United States, and possibly some other brands of interlocks sometimes have a date on them. This will give you a pretty good idea of when the elevator was installed.
Elevator door sill guide
- Main article: Elevator door sill guide
The age of an elevator can sometimes be narrowed down by looking at the door sill (except the elevators were using generic elevator door component such as GAL and Wittur Group. Refer to: Generic elevator component door sill guide).
- Main article: List of elevator fixtures guide
The age of an elevator can sometimes be narrowed down by looking at the elevator fixtures like push buttons and floor indicators, or their fireman switch.
Some elevators may have the year of installation or modernization/modification listed on the car station or even on the floor indicator inside the cab. This case is often found in some Kone, European Otis, Thyssen, some European ThyssenKrupp elevators and all elevators installed in Germany.
Finding out the year the building was built
Try to find out when the building was built. Searching the internet can sometimes find this information. If possible, find the date they started and finished construction of the building, to get a date range. Note that the elevator installation date can be 1 year or more off from the date a website says a building was built. If it is a hotel, and it is newer, look for the date of the oldest review on TripAdvisor. That will tell you the newest the elevator would be.
In some hotel review sites like Agoda and Expedia, the year completion of some hotels are included on the information section, including the year of the hotel's latest renovation (this can be a clue to find out the year of an elevator that has been modernized, if it's an old hotel).
For the public housing estates in Hong Kong, China, you can also go to Hong Kong Housing Authority's website to check when the buildings built. For elevators replaced or additionally installed under Lift Modernisation Programme or Lift Addition Programme, you will need to check the Gazette issued by government (for which year and company won the contract).
For office buildings in Jakarta, Indonesia, you can find the year of completion on getRealty. Pictures of the lobby and elevator lobby may be included on few building listings on the website.
For offices building in Bangkok, Thailand, you can find the year of completion on banbkk.org(In Thai). However, year of completion format in this website uses Buddhist calendar year which must converted to A.D. first. (By subtracting 543 from Buddhist calendar year)
Elevator year of installation/first inspection on certificate
- Main article: Elevator Inspection Certificate
- New Hampshire puts the date of installation on the certificate.
- North Carolina puts the date first inspected (soon after the elevator was installed) on the certificate.
Some states have elevator records that list the year installed.
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Illinois (January 1st installation date might mean unknown month and day in most cases)
- Indiana (on each line, the second date reading from right to left is the year installed)
- Washington (Excluding Seattle and Spokane)
Elevator certificate/permit ID numbers
To use this section, visit the elevator, and find the ID number (found on the certificate/permit). Go to this section, then scroll down to your country and state. Find the next lowest ID number, and the next highest ID number on the list for your country/state. Check the date associated with these two numbers. That will give you a date/date range, telling you around when the elevator was installed. This list will be updated sometimes.
If you want to contribute to this list, DO NOT edit this list, or your edit will be reversed. Instead, post the ID number, the building name, state, and country, and a video of the elevator it belongs to if possible, on this talk page. I will look at it, and add it to the internal list not on the internet, and if I get several ID numbers from a state/country, and they make sense or the state/country is already on the list, the state/country will be added.
Occasionally, there may be exceptions, but in most cases these numbers will be accurate.
Note: The city of Los Angeles has a different set of ID numbers (if the permit is an LADBS permit and not a state of California permit, it will be using the different set of state ID numbers). Not enough ID numbers have been found to see if this ID number system can be decoded to dates.
- 002468 - Around 1912, no later than 1912
- 018520 - Around 1929
- 021433 - Mid 1930s?
- 027670 - Around 1945
- 028204 - Around 1947
- 033000 - 1960
- 046999 - 1969
- 047000 - 1970
- 059999 - 1979
- 060000 - 1980
- 067360 - Around early 1980s
- 071449 - Around 1983, no later than 1983
- 077738 - 1980-1985
- 083999 - 1988
- 084000 - 1988
- 084459 - Around 1988
- 084870 - Around 1988
- 086012 - 1988
- 089505 - Around 1988, no later than 1988
- 105999 - 1995
- 106000 - 1995
- 119999 - 2003
- 120000 - 2004
- 121087 - Around 2004
- 124203 - Around 2004
- 125984 - Around 2004
- 126881 - Around 2005
- 145731 - Around 2007, no later than 2007
- 149999 - 2009
- 159084 - Around 2010
- 169919 - 2016
The numbers mostly appear to be possible to decode, but there is one ID number that is different than expected, but it might have just been a change of system, as it is probably the oldest ID number on the list, and it could have been that they just added a 1 at the beginning of the serial number.
- E-49147 - Around 1986
- E-157917 - Most likely around early 1990s
- E-179087 - Most likely around 1994
- E-194699 - Most likely around 2002
- E-209617 - Most likely around 2004
- E-210101 - Around 2006
- E-210124 - 2006 or slightly earlier
- E-216673 - Most likely around 2008
I have a theory about decoding Massachusetts elevator ID numbers. My theory is the first number in the ID number is the city number. The second number is the ID number in the city. I can't guarantee that this is true, but this probably will be decided when more numbers are added. Escalators most likely are part of the same numbering, not separate numbering. If there is a P in the serial number, it means passenger elevator. If there is an E in the serial number, it means escalator.
- 1-P-10146 - Around 2000-2003
- 1-E-10161 - Around 2000-2003
- 1-E-10162 - Around 2000-2003
- 79-P-8 - Around 1980s-1990s
- 79-P-23 - 1995/1996
- 113-P-44 - Around 1998, no later than 2004
- 283-P-4 - 1896-1897
All other countries/states have too few ID numbers collected to see if they can be decoded to dates/no ID numbers associated with elevators that have been added.
In Denmark, the year of an elevator installation is always listed on the elevator inspection paper. The name of the original manufacture as well as the name of the company that provides maintenance service is also listed on the paper.