King Henry VIII had come into power in the 15th century. Now being a ruler who commands (and demands) respect, he also participated in jousting matches. In one such jousting match he was heavily injured and had almost lost the ability to climb stairs. In order to continue functioning as a ruler, he had a special system of blocks and tackles made, wherein his servants could lift him up and down the stairs. One would wonder why not simply lift him on four shoulders and carry him … to those I say, you need to know how heavy he was … 30 stone, that’s 190 kgs!
The same principle is used in stair lifts these days. A stair lift is a device used to transport wheelchairs and people up and down a flight of stairs. The lift is attached to a rail which either runs along the ground or along the wall, and it is strong enough to bear the weight of one person. Here’s a brief schematic of how it works … simple and yet ingenious. The system involves a chair attached to a rail (which goes along the stair case), in most cases the rail is taking the support of the wall, however it can also be running parallel to the ground. The individual has to sit on the chair, and he is transported along the stairway.
This device shows great promise … especially in nations where the average age is on the other side of 30. A device that can help the disabled, the elderly to easily navigate stairs. Now this is an interesting device. Technology that not only enables, but also aids the needy.
This is not a new technology, there are companies out there like this one for example, who have the capabilities to fully customize a stairlift in your home. Not only will they make a custom design for you, but also deploy it at your home. This device seems to bring joy to so many people.
Kudos to Henry VIII for coming up with this solution, and thanks for modern manufacturing, this device is not just meant for the royalty anymore!