The Garage Door Evolution

A garage with an automatic garage door opener makes the whole situation of opening a garage door a whole lot easier to handle. It hasn’t been around forever, though, and I’m not sure everybody appreciates the convenience. So let’s have a chat about the history of these wonderful push-button garage doors.

 In the days previous to the garage doors of today, or even before gas powered automobiles for that matter, people got around in horse-drawn carriages. They were parked-with the horses inside as well-in a little shelter called a “carriage house,” which is basically a small barn. As the wealthy population of the U.S. began to purchase the newly produced automobile in the late 1890’s, they were parked in those same carriage houses. When the smell of livestock began to become a part of the cars, their owners found their little carriage houses to be problematic in terms of making the ride comfortable.

Eventually local entrepreneurs found a way to make money off of the lack of automobile parking facilities as they began renting out spaces in small, public parking garages. These garages were appealing because they offered a clean, maintained place for a shiny car, far away from dirty animals. Before anyone knew it, the supply of parking garage spaces couldn’t meet the demand. So, people reverted back to their carriage houses, which opened the door for the garage door evolution.

At first, barn doors were the only thing available, so that’s what people had hanging from strap hinges on their carriage houses. Then people got tired of having to shovel all the snow, so the sliding and folding doors were invented. This sliding door was nice but the garage had to be twice as wide as the car needed to allow space for the door from side to side. When a door that was divided into several small panels allowing it to fold was made, the need for an enlarged garage was no more. To make life easier still, the doors were made to slide up parallel to the ceiling, which got the door out of the way even further. Garage doors had almost reached their pinnacle.

The next step was to make the garage door open automatically. The industry had been successful in protecting the cars from the elements, but now it was the people’s turn. Nobody likes to have to climb out of the car in a rain or snow storm to open up the garage, so a push-button system was made to do the job for us. This caused safety issues for little kids that thought the garage door was a magic toy. After several children were injured, laws were passed that made the pressure and motion sensors a must with garage doors. These sensors would pick up a child’s presence and send the door back up where it came from, leaving the child to scamper away safely. Where do we go from here? Where will the future of garage door evolution take us now?

Time will tell.

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