The first two escalators on London’s Underground entered service at Earls
Court Station on October 4, 1911. A further 20 were installed at nine other stations by 1915. They were Seeburger type ‘A’ machines with flat surfaces to the steps and a side ‘Shunt’ exit at the landing.
Escalators were new to most people when the Underground launched the first one in 1911. A one-legged engineer called William Harris was at Earls Court on the first day of service and was asked to demonstrate how safe escalators were to use, even for a disabled man. So widely reported was Harris’s escalator ride that the myth arose, which still circulates today, that his job was to ride up and down the escalators all day. In fact, Harris continued to work as an engineer.