Barn Doors Become Garage Doors

The car exploded in the American society at the turn of the 20th century, bringing with it many practical problems that had to be resolved.

For example, the creation of what was called a “new type of non-construction” is what was generally regarded as barns in rural areas became “transportation houses” in urban areas. A logical place to store their car beside the cart.

The car owners back in the early 20th century were only those who could afford it, usually from a rich and influential family. These owner’s cars however acquired the smell of manure. They needed a less smelly alternative. Initially, garages were more as walk-in parking structures. You stored more than one horse in a barn. Why not do the same thing with cars? So private and some public garages were constructed of large spaces and a monthly fee was charged for a space for your car. It was quite a lucrative business. But in 1910, there were too many cars for these garages and overcrowding led to increased pricing and dissatisfaction. The solution was the advent of the Carriage House. A construction of a small structure without horses near the house meant specifically for the car.

Garage being the French word for custody, housing, or protect became a ubiquitous name for these structures within a decade. With side-hinged, the large double doors and locks, the early garages were also more like what we would today call a woodshed with its rough exterior, nails, and squeaky hinges.

 Improvements over time deemed necessary. Doors gained sliding tracks, and the garage became more flexible. The invention of the door modern folding garage was necessitated by the fact that a standard hinged door would require a wider space in which the opening edge for absurdly large garages. When the inventors finally realized that the door could be made of several panels that fold back into the corners and adjacent walls or ceilings, modern garage doors were born.

It would be for many years; however, before electric motor opens the garage door would relieve the need to open the garage by hand.

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