Alexander Miles was an black inventor who was best known for being awarded a patent in 1887 for his design of automatically opening and closing elevator doors. His design improved the operation of the elevator. For up to this time, it was often required of elevator patrons or operators to have to manually close a door to shut off access to the shaft.

With Mr. Miles’s improvement to the elevator, the shaft would automatically open and close when the elevator was not on that floor. Thus preventing falls that had previously resulted in fatalities. His contribution to the improvement of the elevator is recognized by the automatic mechanism that closed the access to the shaft.

Interesting improvement from someone whose main occupation in life was that of a barber! Maybe your idea will take you to new heights!