A century on the rise

One hundred years…ten decades…a century…no matter what term you use it is a significant amount of time. It is even more significant when it marks a milestone in the history of a company. In today’s world of “.coms” and start-ups that fail within a year, celebrating a century in business is a testament to quality, dedication and integrity. While these words are often overused, they are the words that American success stories are built on…such as the story of Abell Elevator International.


A new decade…a new company

Albert R. Wilhelm had learned about the lift industry in the family business in his native Prussia. With the unrest in Germany prior to the First World War, he decided to seek a better life in a new country…America. Upon his arrival in the United States, he located to Louisville, Kentucky and opened Abell Machine Shop. In 1910, the first Abell elevator was installed at the Louisville Broom Works. Many of these traction machines were installed prior to World War I and are still in operation today.


Facing challenges with the country

World War I, Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II…all challenges Abell faced with the country. During the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean War, the company was conscripted by the US Government to fabricate war material. In all three conflicts, Abell was honored to be a top priority conscription candidate because of its size, and excellence in machining capabilities, and quality standards.


Growing with the country

America’s expansion was reflected in Abell’s growth. Innovation and improvement have always been, and remain today, part of the corporate philosophy. Over the decades the company expanded its operations and services to include: the installation and maintenance of traction and hydraulic elevators, escalators, moving walks, dumbwaiters and all types of vertical transportation. In addition to working on projects throughout the United States, the company has worked in Canada, China, Mexico, Turkey, Italy and South America.

With corporate headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, the company expanded into neighboring Lexington. This expansion brought many high-profile projects, including modernizations at the University of Kentucky Hospitals and new installations at Commonwealth Stadium, home of the UK Wildcat football team.

In response to various customer requests to open new locations, Abell began a controlled expansion program. In 1984, Abell Elevator opened its offices in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its abilities in the field were quickly recognized by the awarding of several contracts, such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the home of the Indianapolis 500, United Airlines, Indianapolis Airport, Minton Capehart Federal Building. and the U.S. Courthouse.

The Cincinnati, Ohio branch was opened in 1985. This has led to many high profile projects, including over 30 modernizations for the University of Cincinnati, installations at the Arnoff Center for the Arts, and the Museum Center.

The company expanded to Columbus, Ohio in 1989. Columbus projects include the Fifth Third Corporate Bank Tower, Franklin County Jail, Courtyard by Marriott and many other projects.

Abell continued its expansion with offices in Tampa, Florida in 1999.  This area brought HCA West Coast Hospitals, Pinellas Co. Schools, Eckerd Drugs, Raytheon, and many other projects to the company.

To service and maintain its equipment, the company opened various service offices in cities like Huntington, WV, Fort Wayne, IN, Charlestown, WV, Evansville, IN, Bowling Green, KY and many other locations.

We opened an El Paso, TX office serving the greater El Paso and Midland areas in the fall of 2014.


Abell Lift Systems, LLC – Formerly Independent Elevator Contractor Alliance (IECA)

In 1996, at the annual conference of the National Association of Elevator Contractors, several independent elevator contractors met to address common industry issues. These independent contractors formed a group known as Independent Elevator Contractors Alliance or “IECA” in order to have control over and to develop their own line of comprehensively designed systems. No longer held captive by the major elevator companies, IECA was able to offer tremendous benefits to Independent Contractors.

This group endeavor by several independent elevator contractors resulted in unmatched field efficiencies and innovations.

Each system is reviewed and stamped by a professional engineer to meet or exceed all American Society of Mechanical Engineers A17.1 latest code requirements and carry all UL and CSA labeling as required.

As non-proprietary systems, they provided the owner with the best pricing possible from any maintenance provider.

Abell Technology Systems, LLC

As part of the drive to develop a complete lift system for the Independent Elevator Contractor Abell Technology Systems, previously Advanced Technology Systems, became a member of the Abell Elevator International family in October of 2008.

Started originally as Vertisys in 1988 in Boca Raton Florida by a previous Otis design engineer it developed door operators and vandal proof track and hangers.  In 2000 Atlantic Tech Systems LLC bought the assets of Vertisys and relocated the company to Boynton Beach, FL.  They then developed a state of the commercial door operator known as the “Field Eze”.  The operator has been applied in over a thousand field applications from single speed, to three speed center opening. It is equipped with on board diagnostics, an integral header, integral vane and door zone lock along, with vandal resistant track, incorporating a 6940 style interlock. The ease of installation with its integral header work,s well with any New Installation and/or Modernization.


Mailing Address:

1256 Logan Street
Louisville, KY 40204-2484

Phone: 502.634.3350

Fax: 502.636.9291

Email: info@abellinternational.com