In another edition of "Illuminating Moments in American History," we discover the little-known origins of the ski lift, which came about thanks to Union Pacific Railroad Chairman W. A. Harriman and his capitalistic enthusiasm. Back in the 1930s, Harriman wanted to build a world-class ski resort in the American West, to drive traffic to his railroad. However, he knew his ski resort would only flourish if he could invent a new way of transporting skiers up a mountain. And thanks to Jim Curran, a member of the engineering department at Union Pacific, the ski lift as we know it today was invented.
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