The History of Garage Doors in the U.S.

The History of Garage Doors in the U.S.

A small or large door on a garage in which various types of automobile vehicles are parked is called a garage door. These doors are generally made up of metal, wood, or fiberglass, and the opening mechanism can be manual or automatic (with an electric motor). Wouldn’t it be quite interesting to know how these doors have evolved over time? In this blog post, we dug into the history of garage doors in the USA.

A modern overhead, sectional garage door.

The concept of garage doors came into existence at the beginning of the 20th century. Below are the various stages in the evolution that garage doors went through since the very first day of their introduction to society:

Barn-Like Swinging Garage Doors

At the beginning of the 20th century when the first personal garage was constructed, it was furnished with two barn-like doors. The door would look like a shed and one had to swing it outward in order to open it. But there were some issues with this type of door. Some of these issues are as follows:

  • It was quite challenging to open the door during the snow season, as it was building up rapidly.
  • The wear and tear of the door were high. 

Sliding Track Doors

In order to get rid of the issues observed in the case of the swinging garage doors, there was a need for a sliding mechanism for opening and closing the doors. Thus the Sliding Track Door was formed to fulfill this need. But there was an issue with this type of door also. The size of the garage had to be at least double the width of the sliding door panel. This issue led to further advancement in the field.

Sliding & Folding Doors

Later, with a purpose to be free from the compulsion of having the size of the garage at least double the size of the door, some changes were made in the design and opening mechanism of the door. The new door had been divided or split into two sections. Moreover, it would fold up while opening.

Overhead Sectional Garage Door

Further advancement in the history of garage doors was the invention of Overhead Sectional Garage Door– the type of doors we see nowadays, in most homes. C.G. Johnson invented the overhead door in 1921. Unlike the previously invented types of doors, it was to be lifted vertically to open up. When the door was fully open, it stayed parallel to the ceiling of the garage.

Overhead Doors with Electric Opener

Later, in 1926, C.G. Jonson (the inventor of Overhead Sectional Garage Door) also invented an electric garage door opener. This new invention allowed the automatic opening of the Overhead Door, thus replacing the hassle of manually operating the door.

Final Words

Throughout history, there have been gradual improvements in the making of garage doors. These changes concluded in the formation of doors that are long-lasting, automatic, and space-saving. As technology rapidly evolves, we cannot wait and see what innovations are to come. To keep updated, check out IDA’s website. Additionally, if you need any assistance with your garage door in the New Haven, CT area, feel free to contact us today!