Boy lift operator, Girl and finally AI, Aviation follows same trend: mindFly

Elevator girls

Lifts were skill based and operated by boys. Girls started operating 1929 onwards and gradually became fully automatic. Aviation is witnessing a similar trend. Mostly men flying the machines heavier than air. There is a recent push for more women to fly the big birds and there are murmurs of artificial intelligence taking over. There was passenger apprehension about safety and reliability when the lift operators were replaced with autonomous automatic controls. Similarly, currently there is a debate on pilotless passenger aircrafts.

History of lifts

Archimedes is generally credited with inventing the lift in around 236 BC. The Ancient Egyptians used a form of lifts consisting of rope-driven hoists powered by humans, animals or water to build pyramids and temples and irrigate crops.


1880 – Werner von Siemens invented the electric lift

1894 – Push-button controls appeared

1900 – Completely automated lifts but passengers wary of ‘lift sickness’!

1945 – Lift operator strike, automated voice, emergency buttons/telephones

1950 – Manned lifts became thing of the past

Skill based

Elevator operation was moved from a skill based human to autonomous control in the early 1950.Being an effective elevator operator required many skills. Manual elevators were often controlled by a large lever. The elevator operator had to regulate the elevator’s speed, which typically required a good sense of timing to consistently stop the elevator parallel to the floor. In addition to their training in operation and safety, department store later combined the role of operator with greeter and tour guide, announcing product departments, floor by floor, and occasionally mentioning special offers.

From boy to girl lift operator

Prior to 1929, elevator operators were men. In 1929, the Ueno Branch of Matsuzakaya department store hired women to operate the elevators in its new facilities. In the same year, Prior to 1929, elevator operators were men. In 1929, the Ueno Branch of Matsuzakaya department store hired women to operate the elevators in its new facilities. At first, female elevator operators had to perform the same functional tasks as male operators, operating levers and closing elevator doors. As elevators became automated, the role shifted to greeting customers, advertising sales to customers, and making announcements.ran an article calling elevator operation the new occupation of Japanese women, commenting on the experiences of the first elevator girls.

The technology changed over time and from hand brake lifts, destination button lifts evolved. From 1950 onwards, the lift operator gradually reduced and eliminated over time.

Artificial Intelligence

Undoubtedly, automation has been linked to aviation in the past. However human control and intervention have always been at the center, in the form of pilots and Air Traffic Controllers. Although other industries experiment, there has not been comparable growth in artificial intelligence as terrain transportation. The ticketing process has already been redeveloped by some airlines. The advancements on the horizon related to delay prediction and mobility enhancing. However, one of the biggest advancements will stem from the cockpit.

About Capt. Amit Singh

I think therefore I am Airlines Operations and Safety balance expert. A former head of operations/training and safety of successful LCC's in India. An experienced member of the startup teams of these airlines has hands-on experience in establishing airlines systems and processes.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.