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Harrisburg Company Celebrates 90 years of Ups and Downs - abc27 WHTM

Harrisburg Company Celebrates 90 years of Ups and Downs

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It's a business born 90 years ago when a Harrisburg entrepreneur wanted to help an ailing friend move freely between floors in his home. That's when C.C. Crispen built the "inclinator," a wooden chair and foot rest that moved up and down stairs on a steel rail, powered by a simple electric motor.

"The original chair design was for two seats to allow a nurse or attendant to travel up and down the stairs with an informed owner or resident," explained Mark Crispen, Director of Market and great grandson of C.C. Crispen

Five years after inventing the stair lift, Crispen introduced the "elevette," a residential elevator that evolved over the years to become the country's leading brand of home elevators. In addition, vertical platform wheelchair lifts were added to the product line, as were units designed to carry household cargo between floors

"This is a residential dumbwaiter. We call it a home waiter," said Crispen, demonstrating a lobby model. "Just push the button to call it down to your location."

Paul Krum joined the business in 1929 and forty years later succeeded C.C. Crispen as president. Today, the company is still owned and operated by the Crispen and Krum family.

"We're still a very small company and we're family owned," noted Crispen. "And we try to run the business with good family values."

About 50 people make up the company work force, with all products still custom crafted in their Harrisburg plant. Their elevators and lifts are sold primarily in the United States, but with a growing presence in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Eastern Caribbean.

"You talk to people anywhere within the industry and they're like 'Inclinator. Oh wow," said Crispen with a look of family pride. "Yes,they all know it."

In Harrisburg, with an uplifting story of success, I'm Chuck Rhodes for abc 27 News.

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