The History of Garage Doors

Garage doors have come a long way since their invention in the early 1900s. Today, they are a standard feature in most homes, providing a safe and secure space for storing cars, tools, and other belongings. But the history of garage doors dates back centuries, and their evolution over time has played a significant role in their usefulness in modern-day homes.

Early 1900’s Garage Doors

The origins of garages as we know them today can be traced back to ancient Rome. Roman soldiers stored their chariots in sheds to keep them safe from theft and damage. Later, in the medieval era, carriages and horses were held in similar structures but with heavy wooden or iron doors to protect them. In the 19th century, carriage houses became a status symbol for the wealthy, but it wasn’t until the invention of the automobile that garages as we know them began to take shape.

In the early 20th century, as more people started purchasing cars, garages became a necessity. The first garage doors were made of timber or metal and hung on pivots that allowed them to swing up and over the opening. These “up-and-over” doors were manually operated using handles, ropes, or pulleys and were often heavy to open and close.

However, things started to change in the 1920s when electric door openers were invented. This innovation transformed garage doors, making them easier to operate, more convenient, and safer. With an electric opener, homeowners could open and close their garage doors with a remote control, eliminating the need to operate them manually continuously. This technology opened up new possibilities for garage doors, allowing homeowners to use their garages more easily to store their cars and other belongings.

Mid 1900’s Garage Doors

Over time, as technology evolved, garage doors began to become more sophisticated. In the 1950s, sectional garage doors emerged as a popular alternative to the up-and-over door. These doors consisted of horizontal panels that opened and closed vertically, with each panel hinged to the next, allowing them to fold up smoothly. This design made sectional doors much easier to operate and required less space, making them more versatile for different types of garages.

The 1960s saw the emergence of steel garage doors, which quickly became the standard for garage doors due to their durability and affordability. Steel doors also required less maintenance than wooden doors, as they didn’t rot, warp, or crack. However, they were still susceptible to rusting and denting over time, and homeowners often had to repaint them every few years to keep them looking their best.

In the 1970s, plastic garage doors made of PVC or fiberglass emerged as an alternative to steel doors. These doors were lightweight, durable, and low maintenance, making them an attractive option for homeowners. Fiberglass doors were also resistant to denting and rusting and didn’t require painting. However, they were more expensive than steel doors and often had a lower lifespan.

Late 1900’s Garage Doors

The 1980s saw the emergence of aluminum garage doors. These doors were lightweight, rust-resistant, and low-maintenance, making them a popular choice for homeowners looking for a door that would last for years. Aluminum doors were also customizable, allowing homeowners to choose from a variety of colors, styles, and finishes. However, security was often an issue due to the lack of advanced technology. Many thieves were able to quickly gain access through traditional garage door designs that did not have locks or solid construction materials. To combat this vulnerability, many homeowners began installing additional security measures such as deadbolt locks on the inside of the garage door or bars over the windows to prevent intruders from entering.

Throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century, garage door technology continued to evolve. Manufacturers began to produce doors with added insulation, which kept garages warmer in the winter and reduced energy costs. The introduction of intelligent garage doors, which could be operated remotely through an app on a smartphone, was another innovation that transformed the way we use our garages.

Modern Day Garage Doors

Today, garage doors come with a range of features designed to make them more secure, durable, and stylish. High-tech safety features such as photoelectric eyes detect objects in the way of the garage door’s path before it begins to close, allowing you to keep your family safe from harm. More advanced models even offer smartphone integration for easy remote access or a wireless keypad entry system that lets you quickly enter your home without punching a code into the keypad. Durability has also been improved with new materials like steel and composite wood, which are much more resistant to wear and tear than traditional wooden doors. Style is also an essential factor when selecting a new garage door — many modern designs feature glass windows, decorative hardware, and decorative trim, allowing you to choose a look that best suits the exterior of your home. With all these features and more, it’s easy to see why garage doors are becoming ever more popular for homeowners nationwide.

Despite the various technological advancements in garage door technology, the essential function of garage doors remains unchanged – to provide homeowners with a secure and safe space to store their cars, tools, and other belongings. The evolution of garage doors has made them more accessible, convenient, and versatile, allowing homeowners to use their garages in new and innovative ways. While there’s no telling what the future holds for garage doors, it’s clear that they will continue to play a vital role in our homes for years to come.

At Overhead Door of Akron, we know garage doors are crucial to any home. For over 50 years, we have been helping our Ohio neighbors with all their residential and commercial garage door needs. Whether you’re looking for a new door to replace an old one or want to explore the latest in garage door technology, trust us to provide you with the highest-quality options for your specific requirements.

You can rely on us for superior products, personalized customer service, and reliable repair, maintenance, and installation services. Let our experts help you find the perfect garage door that fits your needs and budget. Contact us today at 330-929-3452 to learn more!

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