17. The First Working Escalator Was Installed On Coney Island

Jesse Reno Inclined Elevator-Coney Island-Brooklyn-NYC

From the 1896 Street Railway Review

You’re probably beginning to recognize Coney Island’s large technological legacies, but did you know that the first working escalator was also installed here in 1896? It was patented by Jesse W. Reno, who also designed an early aircraft carrier and a vehicle for salvaging shipwrecks, from his plans for a double-decker subway in New York City (which never carried through). This early escalator, which was known as an “incline elevator” and only ascended seven feet, was an attraction on Coney Island’s Old Iron Pier. It even had the same rubber handrails and “teeth” that modern escalators have. However, it only ran on Coney Island for two weeks, before it moved to a spot on the Brooklyn Bridge.