A Brief History of Garage Doors
Inventions usually develop one of two ways, accidentally or by necessity. Remember the old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention?” Many products were created just for that purpose and the same holds true for the invention of garage doors.
Those in the industry actually owe a great deal to Henry Ford for his invention of the automobile. Without it there would be no need for garages and subsequently no need for garage doors. In the 1920’s as more and more people began to purchase automobiles there became a sudden need to find a place to store them. Many people already had carriage houses for horses and livestock but quickly discovered that it is not an ideal place to store a car with a horse. As most can imagine the smell was overwhelming and damages were to be expected.
It didn’t take long before people began building structures to solely house their cars. The units were built similar to that of the carriage houses, each with two doors on the front and constructed completely from wood. The look was characteristic of the time but was not very functional as the doors were awkward, heavy and after time the hinges would rust and fall out.
In 1921 the overhead door was invented to remedy the issues of the carriage house door. A multi-panel door was installed which lifted up and overhead on rails to a fully open position, better known today as the sectional door. This was a vast improvement over the carriage house doors. Garages were built more practically and unused space was not wasted on over-sized swinging or sliding doors.
Since the development of the sectional door there has been much advancement. Traditional overhead doors were built from wood. Today the majority of overhead doors are manufactured from galvanized steel or fiberglass. The maintenance of a fiberglass or steel product is minimal compared to that of a wooden product. It will not warp, rust, rot or fade. These units can also be built with insulation sandwiched between the two pans of steel. This helps to give the door more structural stability and also helps to minimize heat flow.
More attention has been given to the garage door than it has had in the past. No longer does it only fill a need but it is also seen as an extension of the home. With a wide variety of styles, colors and options it can be fit as an accessory to match any home.