Theophilus Van Kannel

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Theophilus Van Kannel's patent drawing for a revolving door, 1888

Theophilus Van Kannel (1841 – December 24, 1919) was an American inventor, known for inventing the revolving door, patented on August 7, 1888.[1][2]


He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Van Kannel, who was recognized for his invention with the John Scott Medal by the Franklin Institute in 1889, founded the Van Kannel Revolving Door Company, which eventually was bought out by the International Steel Company[3] in 1907. International Steel Company is the parent company of International Revolving Door Company.

He invented and owned Witching Waves, an amusement ride introduced at Luna Park, Coney Island, in 1907.[2][4]

Van Kannel died in New York City of heart failure and was buried in West Park Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.[1]