While history books record significant facts about the world, it’s often the things we create which say the most about where we came from. For example, the garage door says more about our history than many people would suspect.
In the early part of the twentieth century, automobiles began to very slowly enter into the public sphere. There had been earlier attempts at the concept. However, they often proved far more trouble than they were worth. Or they wound up as an example of an idea better suited to theory than practice. Eventually something that the modern eye would recognize as a car began to show up on the road. And those early drivers found themselves with an unexpected problem. They weren’t quite sure where to store their new vehicles.
People originally tried to keep their new horseless carriage in the same location as their horse drawn carriages. However, an automobile was even more expensive than in modern times. People quickly soured at the idea of their expensive investment smelling of horse manure. So they then began to dabble with a concept somewhat similar to a parking garage. This was quickly abandoned, as people wanted to have their cars ready for a drive at any time.
And this was the birth of the modern garage. People quickly caught on to the idea of simply building a new carriage house. A carriage house designed especially for this new breed of horseless carriage. In large part these were similar to a traditional carriage house. One big difference was, of course, the ever humble garage door. For the first time in history people were building a specific structure for cars. And they were building a specific kind of door to provide entry.
These early garage doors were more similar to barn doors than what we’d see today. This model quickly proved unreliable. Weather could prove troublesome for their operation, and people found themselves driving far more than they had used horse drawn carriages. This caused rapid wear on the doors.
A solution was devised which brought them more in line with today’s garage door. These slid, as todays do. However they slid along a sliding track on the ground, rather than up and down. This helped, but it still had issues. In particular, it necessitated that the garage needed to be larger than otherwise necessary in order to allow for proper operation of the door.
An unknown party devised an idea to allow the garage door to fold. This took care of much of the problems associated with garage size. And the folding mechanism makes it even closer to what we think of as a modern garage door. However, the greatest breakthrough was to come in 1921 by C.G. Johnson. Mr. Johnson devised a new form of garage door which could actually be lifted upward. This was the true birth of what we think of as a modern garage door. The electric garage door opener followed surprisingly soon after, in 1926.
Driving became more popular. As more people bought cars, they were also suddenly able to move further out into the world while still remaining a part of their community. This began a new rush for land, and suddenly space became far more precious. The garage shifted from a more remote location to a part of one’s home in order to save space. This is the moment where people began to really care about how their garage doors looked. People took pride in the appearance of their home, and if a garage was to be part of it than the door needed to complement the general aesthetics, and garage door maintenance Acworth GA became a high prioirity.
This desire was the ultimate push which brought us to where we are today. The desire for garage doors which looked nice meant that new materials would be needed. New methods of construction would have to be devised. Even new ideas about the best way to protect these materials from the elements were a result of people’s desires for a garage door which would ensure their homes looked their best. At the same time, this drove improvements on the idea of an electric garage door opener. Improved materials meant increased need for lifting power.
From a simple wooden gate, to the modern electronically controlled door of today. The garage door shows how we became a culture in love with the freedom of the road. As the garage door developed, so did we.
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