The History of Stairlifts

Stairlifts come in two main types: straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts. So what exactly is a stairlift? A stairlift is a motorised chair installed on the edge of a staircase. When activated, the chair can be used for transporting a person either up or down the stairs. It is designed for anyone who has difficulty using a staircase and provides access to all areas of the home when stairs presents a barrier.

What are the differences between straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts?

Straight stairlifts are designed for staircases with straight rails, whereas the curved variety provides a solution for stairways with a tight bend, narrow staircases, or even spiral staircases. Both types are streamlined for ultimate comfort and strength, while also taking up as little hallway space as possible. Stairlifts can be bought new or reconditioned. While straight stairlifts can be rented, curved ones cannot as they are made-to-measure to suit individual staircases.

Ransome Mobility sell Minivator, Flow, Freelift, HomeGlide, Home Adapt and Simplicity stairlifts. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. Based in the heart of East Anglia, we offer the highest level of service at the lowest prices possible, on all our mobility products.

We also have a team of in-house or mobile engineers on hand to provide 24 hour assistance for our mobility products. Ransome Mobility Solutions has been established for more than 30 years.

The History of Stairlifts

Remarkably, the origins of the stairlift date as far back as the 16th century, during the reign of King Henry VIII. Injured in a jousting accident, the monarch was carried up and down stairs on a platform by a pulley system operated by servants.

However, it was not until the early part of the 20th century that the first commercial stairlift became available. The first prototype – the Inclin-ator – was built by C C Crispin, a Pensylvannia Entrepreneur who wanted a way to enable his friend to get from floor to floor. The Inclin-ator was sold commercially in the 1930’s and was mainly used by people who had polio, as there were frequent worldwide polio epidemics at the time.

Modern Stairlifts – Stairlift Features

Modern stairlifts – also called chair lifts, or stair gliders – provide users with greater independence. They allow users to stay in their own homes because it gives them unlimited access to upstairs. Today’s versions are comfortable, stronger and come with a range of different options which make them safe and simple to use. These include arm rests, home safety switches, seatbelts, adjustable seat heights, speed governors, joysticks for changing direction, electronically controlled soft starts and stops, remote controls and a power hinged track to clear hallways and doors. Some can even be used outside. There are also stairlifts available to carry passengers who weigh up to 30 stone.

Stairlifts are designed for all manner of staircases including straight staircases and curved staircases – and even spiral staircases. However, curved stairlifts are generally more expensive than straight stairlifts because they have to be tailored to suit individual types of curved staircases, which can vary according to the curve or size of the stairs.

Stairlifts can either be installed on the left or right hand side of the staircases depending on the user’s preference. They also come with the option of a manual or powered swivel seat. The seat can be turned at an angle (generally either 45 or 90 degrees) and secured in place so the user can dismount safely.

Modern stairlifts are streamlined so they take up as little space in the hallway as possible. Stairlifts run on electricity, but most models now are battery powered, which means that the stairlift can still be used in a power cut.

The Future of Stairlifts

The demand for stairlifts will continue to increase, as more and more people are living longer in the UK. The future looks brighter for stairlift users as there will be even more technological innovations including more reliable and compact ones. It is also likely they will become much cheaper to manufacture – and therefore be cheaper to buy – and stairlifts of the future will become much more energy efficient. As technology is advancing all the time, this will be a great advantage to the future customer who may also want to benefit from the freedom and independence the stairlift provides.

About Ransome Mobility Solutions

Ransome Mobility Solutions is a friendly, family run business specialising in mobility products and vehicle adaptions. We supply and install a wide range of stairlifts designed to help make life easier for customers in Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, London and UK wide.

Straight Stairlifts – click here to view our range of products >
Curved Stairlifts – click here to view our range of products >