The Garage and Garage Doors and Their Place in History

At the turn of the 20th century and the years leading up to 1914, the horse and its attendant carriage or wagon is the main means of land transportation. With the advent of the Ford Model T in 1914, its speedy “assembly line” production, and cheap purchase price, the automobile (later to be called “car”) increased in number. While many people think that Henry Ford invented the first car, he did not, not by a long shot. The automobile and its combustion engine have a long history of inventors and creators from Europe, all dating back to as early as 1807.

Credits do go out to Francois Isaac de Rivaz, Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz, Armand Peugot, and Rudolf Diesel for the rise of the automobile in Europe. The automobile had a late debut in America, thanks to Ransom Olds in 1902. His Oldsmobile factory attempted to use assembly line mass production to churn out affordable automobiles. In hindsight, what Henry Ford did was to copy all these car designs and improved on the assembly line mass production to churn out a Ford Model T every fifteen minutes.

Before the car, most houses had a horse and carriage house attached to the house. As more and more Americans owned a Model T car, the need arose where to park the car to protect against the weather, thieves, and other hazards. Some used their old carriage house, which was already dirty and smelly from the horses before. Soon people began constructing auto houses attached to the home. Early garage doors were the wooden barn-type door on hinges that opened outward. They were latched or padlocked when closed. However, they were hard to open in heavy snow, tended to wear out quickly, come off their hinges, and rotted after being subjected to rain and heat.

In the 1920’s the sliding door on tracks and sectional folding doors were invented. C.G. Johnson is credited with inventing the first useful fold up flush to the ceiling garage door. In 1926 he then invented the electric garage door opener. In the 1970’s, garage doors began to be made from galvanized steel. Later came the garage door remote opener. Today, modern garage doors even come with insulation, optical sensors, or pressure sensitive sensors for added safety. Of course, with anything electrical or mechanical, installations or repairs are needed. This is where garage door companies and garage door repair technicians come in. With the present state of garage doors, people will greatly depend on garage door professionals to install or repair their garage doors.

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