Dover Elevators was an American-based elevator manufacturer and was a division of Dover Corporation. The company manufactured passenger and freight elevators from 1955 to 1999, and was the 3rd largest elevator company. They still manufactures automotive lifts under the "Rotary Lifts" name.


Dover Corporation was originally known as Rotary Lift, a manufacturer of automobile lifts that opened in 1925. In 1937, Rotary Lift invented the modern hydraulic passenger elevator known as Oildraulic, which has become popular since and rivals such as Otis, Montgomery, Haughton, Westinghouse, etc. began making hydraulic elevators. Rotary changed its name to Dover Corporation and split the company into two separate divisions: Rotary Lift, which manufactures automobile lifts, and Dover Elevator Division, which manufactured passenger and freight elevators.

In 1958, Dover Corp. bought out Shepard-Warner Elevator. Since Shepard-Warner made geared and gearless traction elevators, Dover began making them in addition to hydraulic elevators as a result of the merger.

In 1971, Dover Corp. entered the British market by acquiring Hammond & Champness. Some of Dover's equipment installed in the United Kingdom from the mid-1970s onward were effectively branded as H+C or H+C Lifts.

On January 5, 1999, Dover Corp. sold their elevator division to the German-based Thyssen Elevator, and changing the name into Thyssen Dover Elevator. However, Dover elevators saw little change as a result of this buyout; the same fixtures and cab designs continued to be used, and Thyssen Dover elevators were very rarely labeled as such in the cab or any readily visible areas (they are normally labeled as Dover). As a result of this, Thyssen Dover elevators are usually only distinguishable by their date of manufacture. At the time when Thyssen Dover launched, Thyssen was already in merger with F. Krupp AG, which eventually became ThyssenKrupp. Brand transition in ThyssenKrupp ended in 2001 and this marked the end of the Dover name in the elevator industry. Even after that, very few ThyssenKrupp elevators made after 2000 were still bearing Dover logo on fixtures[2].

Post-Dover era

ThyssenKrupp continued on making Dover's Oildraulic (their version of hydraulic) until October of 2012 when they discontinued it. It was replaced with the new endura system, that is supposed to use new eco-friendly hydraulic oil and is said to be the same basic design as Oildraulic. ThyssenKrupp also continued on making Dover's SPF geared traction elevators as their own until 2013. Besides that, they continued to make traction elevators and has added machine room less elevators (notably the synergy) and destination dispatch to their product lineup.

Notable products

  • Oildraulic - The Oildraulic was known to be the first modern hydraulic elevator, invented by Automobile Rotary Lifts in 1937. It was produced under the Dover name and then the ThyssenKrupp name until October 2012 when it was replaced with the endura series.
  • Dover SPF - SPF was a series of geared traction elevator. Like Oildraulic, it was later produced by ThyssenKrupp after the acquisition and was replaced by the momentum series in 2012-2013. SPF was controlled by the Traflomatic controllers.
  • SGT - Dover's other traction elevator system.
  • AC Gearless Traction Elevators - High speed gearless traction elevators with 2500-4000 lbs. capacities and 500-800 fpm. speeds.
  • Independent Residential Elevators - Dover's residential elevators for private homes in either 1:2 roped hydraulic or winding drum traction drive system.
  • Platform Lifts - Dover's wheelchair/platform lifts. It had five models; CRL, CLA, RL, CLP and CGL.
  • Stair Lifts - Dover's stairlifts (SL-100 and Eagle Series).
  • Dover DMC-I - Dover's microprocessor control system for newer Oildraulic elevators.
  • Traflomatic - Dover's other automatic control system. Traflomatic I, II, and 500 were relay logic; but Traflomatic III & IV were microprocessor control systems.
  • Dover Computamatic - Dover's Computamatic elevator system was a group elevator system for high-rise buildings, similar to the Westinghouse Selectomatic and Otis Autotronic elevators.


Dover Elevators was based in Memphis, TN. It had four manufacturing plants located in Horn Lake and Walnut, MS (opened in 1980[3]); Middleton, TN (opened in 1969[3]); and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The Middleton plant was for productions of elevator doors, entrances and signal fixtures, the Horn Lake plant was the production base for Dover's elevator structural components, and the Walnut plant was the base of Dover's elevator controllers and drive systems productions[4].

Dover also had two overseas representative offices located in Thailand (for the Asia Pacific region) and Mexico (for the Latin/Caribbean region).


United States

Dover was unique in that they had many independent, local distributors that bought Dover equipment and sold/installed it, usually bearing both their name and Dover's name. These reached their peak in popularity in the late 1960's, which is when Dover began to absorb these distributors and begin installing elevators on a much wider scale. Some companies, such as Burlington Elevator (New York/New Jersey), were dissolved in the mid 1970's. Others, such as Security (New Jersey), Eastern (New England), and Miami (Florida), lasted into the 1980's or 1990's. Some, such as Marshall Elevator (Pennsylvania) lasted well into the ThyssenKrupp years. Others, such as O'Keefe Elevator (Iowa/Nebraska), still exist today as ThyssenKrupp distributors.

List of Dover distributors in the U.S.:

Company State(s) served
Alaska/Pacific Elevator Inc. Alaska
Arizona Elevator Inc Arizona
Bay State Elevator Co. Massachusetts, New York,
Vermont and Bloomfield, Connecticut
Burlington Elevator New York
Dominion Elevator Virginia
Eastern Elevator Co. Inc. New England and New Haven,
General Elevator Co. Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and
District of Columbia
Grindel Elevator Co. Pennsylvania
Hobson Elevator Co. Washington
Hunter-Hayes Elevator Texas
Independent Elevator Co. Michigan
Lamb-Grays Harbor Co., Inc. Washington
Lamps Elevator Company Rockford, Illinois
Lagerquist Corp. Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota,
South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming
Marshall Elevator Co. Pennsylvania
Miami Elevator Florida
Nashville Machine Co., Inc. Tennessee
Northwestern Elevator Co. Michigan
O'Keefe Elevator Co. Iowa
Security Elevator Co. New Jersey
Seelar Elevator Inc. Pennsylvania
Sound Elevator Co. Oregon
Stanley Elevator Co. New Hampshire and Pennsylvania
Tri-State Elevator Co. Inc. Louisiana

Overseas distributors

Dover Corp. had many distributors around the world. In Canada, Dover was headquartered in Toronto, ON. In the United Kingdom, Dover elevators were distributed by Hammond & Champness from the early 1970s until 1999. Their elevators were branded as Hammond & Champness Lifts, and later H+C Lifts. Dover also had branch in Germany, located in Langenhagen and operate under the name Dover Europe Aufzuge GmbH.

In Asia, Dover had several distributors and third-party installers located in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. In Singapore, Dover elevators were distributed by East Elevator Pte. Ltd. In Malaysia, Dover elevators were distributed by Intermet Engineering Sdn. Bhd. from 1994 to 1996. In November 1996, Dover took 30% equity of Intermet and was subsequently changed to Dover Elevators (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Nowadays, East Elevator and Dover Malaysia install or modernize elevators using third-party components. In South Korea, Dover elevators were distributed by Hyundai Elevator. Dover also exported their elevators to Australia through their sole distributor, Australian Elevators Corporation (AEC).

List of Dover distributors outside the U.S.:

Company Country Notes
Abdul Aziz Eshaq Bahrain
Al-Futtaim Engineering L.L.C. United Arab Emirates [5]
Alfion S.A. Argentina
Ascensores Del Peru S.A. Peru
Ascensores Integral Columbia
Ascensores Opitz Y Cia Ltda Chile
Australian Elevators Corporation (AEC) Australia [6]
Bermuda Elevator Co. Ltd. Bermuda
Celco Cia, Ltda. Ecuador
Coremsa Costa Rica
Copas Paraguay
Dalsan C. Por A. Dominican Republic
De Elevadores S.A. Guatemala
Desarrollo Vertical, S.A. DE D.V. Mexico
Deya Elevator Services Inc. Puerto Rico
Distribuidora Yale, S.A. De C.V. El Salvador
Dover Elevator Far East Ltd. Hong Kong, China
Dover Elevator Systems, Inc. China
East Elevators Pte. Ltd. Singapore [7]
Electric Sales & Service Co., Ltd. Barbados
Electro-Systems Philippines
Elevadores Irene C.A. Venezuela
Elevadores Panama S.A. Panama
European Lift Engineering Germany
Hammond & Champness Ltd. (H+C) United Kingdom 1971-1999[8]
Hobson Elevator Canada
Hyundai Elevator Co. Ltd. South Korea
Intermet Engineering Sdn. Bhd. Malaysia 1994-1996[9]
Island Elevator Company Guam
Lamb Canada Ltd. Canada
Multi-Tec Engineering Services Ltd. Jamaica
National Elevator Company Egypt
National Fluid Power New Zealand
Promociones Irene S.A. Venezuela
PT. Karya Intertek Kencana Indonesia
Saasa Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd. Pakistan
Saudi ETA Ltd. Saudi Arabia
Sein Trading Myanmar
Sound Elevator Co. (Canada) Canada
Toyo-Hydro Elevator Co. Ltd. Japan
Turnbull Elevator Ltd. Canada
U.S. Systems Ltd. Partnership Thailand
Wason Elevator Corp. Taiwan


Main article: Dover Elevator Fixtures Guide.

Before Dover started manufacturing their own fixtures in 1968, they used GAL fixtures and custom panels. Their standard-issue fixtures by the late 1960's were black buttons with a white halo that lit up and a distinctive indicator with square segments that lit up for each floor. The following listing is of Dover-manufactured fixtures.

  • "1970's Black" (1968 - 1970's) - These fixtures had no known official name. These buttons were black with a white halo that lit up, similar to the GAL fixtures that they used immediately prior to these. These, however, have a distinctly smaller halo than the GAL fixtures. The floor indicator was similar to the GAL indicator that they used immediately prior, but the segments for the floors were spaced farther apart. This is dubbed the "chiclet indicator".
  • "1970's White" (1968 - late 1970's) - These fixtures had no known official name. These buttons were similar to the 1970's black buttons, except that they were white with a black halo, and the actual button lit up. The indicator is the same "chiclet indicator" from above.
  • Traditional (mid 1970's - 1999, used by Thyssen Dover and ThyssenKrupp through 2007) - These fixtures are similar in appearance to the 1970's white buttons (and the 1960's black buttons on special order), but the surface of the button is smoother and the button presses in less, giving somewhat of an illusion of a touch-sensitive fixture. Early on, the chiclet indicator was used, but Dover eventually moved to a digital/faux digital "alarm clock" indicator in the late 1970's, followed by a dot matrix/faux dot matrix indicator in the mid 1980s. 1990's Traditional put button labels on brailes off to the side of the button rather than printing the labels on the actual buttons. After 1999, the buttons were made by Thyssen, then by 2001, ThyssenKrupp.  In 2007, ThyssenKrupp overhauled the Traditional line into its current form.
  • Impulse (1983 - 1999, still offered by ThyssenKrupp for special orders) - This is Dover's most common and distinct fixture line, and their first to adopt a modular design. It was still being manufactured and installed on a normal basis by ThyssenKrupp through 2006.  However, it is still available with custom orders as of current day.

Notable installations

Main article: List of notable Dover elevator installations

Notable acquisitions

  • 1958: Shepard-Warner Elevator Co. (Cincinnati, OH)
  • 1961: Monarch Elevator Co. (Greensboro, NC)
  • 1964: Hunter-Hayes (Dallas, TX)
  • 1965: Kimball Elevator (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1966: Turnbull Elevator Ltd. (Toronto, ON, Canada)
  • 1968: Burlington Elevator (New York, NY)
  • 1971: Hammond & Champness (United Kingdom)
  • 1983: Miami Elevator (Miami, FL)


  • Dover's Asia Pacific Regional representative office was based in the Rajanakarn Building in Bangkok, Thailand[10]which had Dover elevators, possibly SPF model[11]. However, they were replaced into Otis[12] in the 2010s.
  • Apart from elevators, Dover also made escalators[13]. They were not as common as their elevators, therefore they are extremely rare.



See also

Notes and references

  1. Archival website of Dover Elevators
  2. VERY LATE 2002 ThyssenDover Hydraulic Elevator at The Anderson Building, UofKY, Lexington, KY - YouTube
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dover History (Archived)
  4. Who We Are (Archived)
  5. Al-Futtaim now distributes Hitachi elevators and escalators in the United Arab Emirates.
  6. Dover elevators installed in Australia are often branded as Dover AEC.
  7. East Elevators still exist. It currently maintain and sometimes modernize the remaining Dover elevators in Singapore, as well as assembling/installing elevators under their own brand name "Duford".
  8. Hammond & Champness was often known as H+C Dover, and H+C Dover from the mid-1970s onward was effectively a brand for Dover equipment installed in the UK.
  9. Intermet Engineering changed to Dover Elevators (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. in 1996 which still exists today. Now it install elevators under their own brand "Dover" as well as installing Spain-made MP elevators in Malaysia.
  10. International Distributors - Thailand (Archived)
  11. Review ลิฟท์ค้าง อาคารรัจนาการ ไฟดับ (Stuck in an elevator at Rajanakarn Building, Bangkok, Thailand) - YouTube
  12. STRANGE Otis Traction Elevators @ Rajanakarn Building, Bangkok (High Zone) - YouTube
  13. Products - Dover Escalators (Archived)

External links

Major elevator and escalator companies
Full list of companies List of elevator and escalator companies
Operating FujitecHitachiHyundaiKoneMitsubishi Electric (Shanghai Mitsubishi) • Otis (Otis ElectricSigma) • SchindlerTK ElevatorToshiba
Defunct Dover ElevatorsExpress LiftOrenstein & KoppelThyssenthyssenkruppWestinghouse
Other companies Third-party elevator maintenance companies
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