Alonzo Bertram See

Alonzo Bertram See

Alonzo Bertram See was an American businessman and social critic. He was born in 1848 to Benjamin and Lavania See. [Christopher Gray, "Streetscapes: Readers' Questions;The Ups and Downs of A. B. See, Elevator Maker", New York Times, June 4, 1995, available at] He founded the A. B. See Elevator Co., an elevator repair company, in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York. His company was reportedly the first to develop the predecessor to modern destination dispatch elevators. [Nick Paumgarten, "Up and Then Down: The lives of elevators", The New Yorker, April 21, 2008, available at] The company was acquired by Westinghouse in 1938.

Alonzo Bertram See was also a social critic criticizing the increasing calls for women's equality at the time and criticizing educational methods of the time. He famously remarked that, "If the world had had to depend on the inventive and constructive ability of women, we should still be sleeping on the plains." He also responded to a request from the then all women Adelphi College with the retort that "all women's colleges should be burned."

In 1937 A. B. See Elevator company was the 3rd largest elevator company in the country. ["A. B. See to Westinghouse", Time Magazine, July 19, 1937, available at,9171,882777-1,00.html]


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