The Evolution of the Garage Door


The Evolution of the Garage Door

Garage doors have gone through several distinct transitions during the last thousands of years. Originally documented in the 18th and 19th centuries, carriage houses featured a form of garage door that featured hinges and door bracers. These applications helped strengthen the doors while evenly distributing the weight.

Introduction of the Automobile

During the early 1900s, Henry Ford introduced the Model T automobile, which quickly began replacing the traditional horse and carriage travel. To meet the growing storage needs, garages took on a new form that resembled the pre-existing carriage house. By 1906 portable garages began being offered through mail-order catalogs such as sears.

Overhead Functionality

Early garage door applications broke down quickly and had to be replaced. In 1921, C.G. Johnson created the first sectional garage door that featured overhead operation to combat these deterioration problems. Responding to the weight of a door and convenience issues he then created the first operational electric garage door in 1926.

20th Century Innovations

During the mid-20th century, home began featuring attached garages. This introduction gave homeowners a new convenience factor that was previously unavailable by keeping their car and themselves out of the elements. After World War II ended, prosperity brought larger vehicles, or multiple vehicles, to homes representing an increased importance and size appropriation for the modern garage.

Prior to the 1970s, many homes were still featuring standard wooden doors that often required regular maintenance. The introduction of new materials, such as steel, fiberglass and aluminum brought low-maintenance and durable garage door options to the public. These predecessors made the modern garage doors today possible.

Modern Garage Doors

During the 1980s, many homeowners were experiencing costly problems with their garage door opener systems. If a car was left under an open garage door and was suddenly set to close it could collapse on the car without reversing. In the 1990s a law was passed to mandate sensors be attached to a garage door opener to limit mobility if something was in the way.

From the preceding time period to the present, the garage door industry has made several significant advancements including new insulation applications for thermal efficiency and the introduction of aluminum fiberglass. As time goes by, this often overlooked component of a home will continue to improve, leaving its mark on the history books. With nearly 80% of homes featuring at least a single car garage, it's hard to think that the importance of a garage door will be lost.

If you are trying interested in a new garage door system or you are experiencing issues with your garage door opener, give us a call! In the greater Tulsa area—including Broken Arrow, Owasso, Bixby, Jenks, Sand Springs, Bartlesville and more—you can call us at (918) 234-DOOR. In the Oklahoma City area, you can call us at (405) 525-DOOR. In Southern OKC—including Moore, Norman and more—call (405) 848-6700. In Edmond or Stillwater, call (405) 348-2000.