Boy, it's been a long time since I've posted anything here. But that's not the point of this thread.
While it's likely that someone already came up with both of these, I made both of these without any assistance. I did some searches and couldn't find similar builds, so I'm hoping.
First, one that is based off of the properties of a couple different kinds of blocks.
A simple overview of this device - a simple press of a button powers two machines - the first to be powered is a dropper, which can drop any item you want to transfer up without moving upwards yourself. Then, a few ticks later, a sticky piston pushes a slime block upward through a tube. which doesn't have to be glass. The item then activates a tripwire near the top, which quickly causes another sticky piston to push another slime block, shoving the item on to a hopper. From my count, items are transferred up 9 blocks. It has a slight chance of failure but simply pressing the button again will, in all likelihood, get any items in the tube up. The back made of wool is mostly unnecessary - all that's needed is 1 block to support a tripwire hook.
Second, one using rails, carts, and hoppers. This one I'm almost certain has been done before, but it's still interesting, and far more self-explanatory.
It can easily be extended in any direction, although slight tinkering might be needed so that the drop-off station works correctly if the entire track is expanded. The levers can be replaced by redstone torches if you like - I used levers simply in case it may be necessary to disable some parts of the track.